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I Learn Something Every Day


Photobuff
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Went back to a site I thought was promising today, and learned a few things. Details and photos are at NB0873

 

My usual attack is to find something with the metal detector, then probe around it. My assumption is if I don't find a more or less symmetrical monument around a disk, I must be poking at something else. In this case, the monument was buried almost horizontally. The metal detector signature didn't sound quite right, and the probe suggested a large long rock as a slight angle. Since I had taped off the location accurately, and had reasonable confidence I was in the right spot, I started digging. Sure enough, a road crew had pulled the monument when putting in a water line, then buried it. No idea if they even noticed the disk on the top.

 

The lesson here is that it's bad to have a preconceived notion of just what things should look like. The monument was a narrow 6" square post, not the 8-12" square jobs I normally see. The nearby homeowner was almost positive it was gone and there was nothing to dig for (though he had no problem with my trying). The monument was horizontal, not vertical. The metal detector didn't give quite the right indication for a horizontal disk. Still, there it was. Recovered poor, and may eventually be destroyed, but recovered none the less.

 

Now I need to revisit some other sites and apply what I've learned here! ;)

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Your log says the homeowner wanted to put it back upright. If he does, please log to NGS the fact that you found it horizontal and the property owner replanted it. Otherwise, someone might actually use it and get wrong answers.

 

I would recommend a Found Poor/Disturbed log for NGS so that the facts get recorded, particularlyif it may remains in the ground. A good picture of this could get it classified as Destroyed, but then the log would not explain why it was still in the ground.

 

I suppose, if the base of the post was found and the top fitted very snugly onto it, someone could make a case that it was not destroyed and say that it still had some usefulness because it was within 0.01 foot or whatever of the original elevation. A cautious user would not want to rely on that.

 

If NGS considers it destroyed, they may instruct you to remove it to prevent the possible confusion. That has happened in cases previously discussed in the forum. It seems that policy does not let them give you permission to keep a destroyed disk, but it also seems they don't send instructions on what to do with it after removing it.

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Already done- I wanted the NGS report to have all the info in case it was later destroyed, and I don't want the thing destroyed if it can be reset, either by them, or by the DOT. There are only a couple monumented disks from that time period still around here, and I'm working on a list for the local trail people. It may be a hopeless quest, but it wouldn't be the first.

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Alas, your logic is irrefutable. How 'bout this- I get it destroyed, probably easy enough. Then we re-plant it along the trail, with a post and plaque explaining about benchmarks, how they relate to the RR, and a note that this one has been moved and is thus no longer usable for elevation? You understand that it's the historical aspect I'm really interested in preserving here.

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If you replant it, find letter stamping dies and mark it "RESET 2006". Then it can't be confused with the original position. It will still be in the correct historical style, like many reset disks, without the need for explaining the change in the plaque, which would then have more room for educational words. There won't be an NGS data sheet for a reset position, so surveyors will know that it isn't one they can use.

 

If a qualified surveyor wanted to do an official reset and submit for the NGS data base, the stability of the stubby post would not be adequate. Anybody who goes to the trouble of taking the data and submitting it for inclusion in the NGS data base nowadays would probably use the long rod and sleeve type of vertical mark for greater stability than even a full-length concrete post.

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Well, I sort of like the idea of punching in RESET 2006, and as an amateur machinist I do have the punches. The potential for confusing the USPS for decades to come also crossed my mind :D I can also see the potential for more serious problems, though I think they're minimal. We're about to go back into winter mode, so I have lots of time to figure this out. It's probably time to think about an email to Ms. Brown. Do appreciate everyone's input, as it's not the usual case.

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Don't do it. PLEASE let it be

 

 

The MOST important thing about this mark is its elevation and putting in back like it was will only do a diservice to anyone who may have an occasion to use the mark not to mention bring critism on the Geocaching Bench Marks efforts.

Edited by Z15
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Mike, wouldn't the change in stamping be sufficient to keep it from being mistaken by a potential user? (Assuming it is officially destroyed.) There are lots of reset marks with different elevations than the original (and in some cases both disks still survive), so surveyors must always check for the right data sheet.

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What happens is someone comes across the mark and spends time looking for data on it? Just going to create more problems as time goes by. Just like Geocaching, many firms have the data on CD's and don't go checking the DB everytime they go to a mark.

 

I am sure NGS and others who use these marks would not like to see you do this. Not all who use these marks are familar with a lot of what gets stamped on the mark and just becuase it logged as destroyed in the database and stamped RESET it no guarantee someone will not use the mark.

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That makes good sense to me. It sounds like the mark can't be reset, isn't really suitable for useful duty in the modern world, even if it could, and has the potential to cause confusion for more than the USPS. It's covered with snow now, but when I can get at it, and if NGS wants it destroyed, I'll insure it stays that way :)

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I would advise not planting or restamping it. Though the US Postal Service (USPS) might not deliver mail to the benchmark, the number of times USPSQD and Geocaching reports disregard the stamping on the disk and thus confuse disks, or reference marks, etc. is significant. I would email Deb, call it destroyed and walk away.

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Photobuff -

 

I think that re-planting this mark really isn't such a good idea. Perhaps I'm being radically conservative (rare for me) but the NGS does apparently have the rather shocking policy that IF they agree that a mark should be in the Destroyed category, they'd rather that you just took it home.

 

Doesn't that just make you want to confirm it destroyed? TAKE IT HOME! they are a cool thing to have, believe me!

 

and you have a GPS that takes you out 5 decimal places???? how cool.

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Photobuff -

 

I think that re-planting this mark really isn't such a good idea. Perhaps I'm being radically conservative (rare for me) but the NGS does apparently have the rather shocking policy that IF they agree that a mark should be in the Destroyed category, they'd rather that you just took it home.

 

Doesn't that just make you want to confirm it destroyed? TAKE IT HOME! they are a cool thing to have, believe me!

 

and you have a GPS that takes you out 5 decimal places???? how cool.

 

We do not have a 'Destroyed BM', but it has been mentioned that one would make a nice prize in the up-coming Benchmark Contest. :laughing:

 

Shirley~

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4leafclover -

 

I can see the NGS's point, that, after they have decided that a disk is destroyed (because of how much it was moved out of position or something) and notified the reporter accordingly, they'd rather the disk was removed from the site one way or another so that no one tries to put it back.

 

I have reported destroyed a very few times on GC.com but never on the NGS site. As an amateur, I am very uncomfortable with the idea of the process of trying to get a mark declared as destroyed by the NGS. This whole thing certainly does not make me want to get a mark declared destroyed. The only thing I'm comfortable with in reporting to the NGS site is Founds. :laughing:

 

If I were the NGS, I'd try to require that the disk be sent in to them and pay the person for sending it in, but I'm not the NGS. :o As we know, it is a crime to remove a disk that isn't destroyed.

 

Yes, my GPS receiver gives 5 decimal places in degrees mode, or 3 decimal places in minutes mode, or 1 decimal place in seconds mode. I thought they all did the same. :P

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As I've said, it's under the snow now, and will be for some time. The fate of the thing will be up to the NGS, but I'm probably down on the list of who might end up with the disk. Remember, it's on private property (the trail group), and even if I ended up with it, I'd probably give it to the guy who mowed around it for decades and seemed quite attached to it. Remember, it's not the kill, but the thrill of the chase :laughing:

 

When it warms up I want to apply what I've learned here to some other "hopeless" marks. Maybe they're not so hopeless after all.

 

As for digits, TTBOMK all Garmins display tenths of a second. The only oddballs seem to be this particular Magellan and maybe their other Explorer models. Not sure if a firmware upgrade might add that feature in the future (say that one fast), or if it's a limitation of the LCD and space for characters. For those who are interested in this sort of thing, it's useful to enter various distances in Geocalc, varying the format and flipping the last digit up and down by one. My 210 also appears to do its internal calculations using an extra digit, other wise it couldn't display distance down to a foot. It's meaningless in terms of the accuracy of a single, or even a few, readings, but using something like SA Watch, real accuracies of less than a foot appear to be obtainable if one has the time to average (hours) and good signals. Apparently even the high end survey units have to average quite a while. The surveyor I talked to said when they set a benchmark, they do six hour runs on a couple different days, then do a bunch of post processing back at the office.

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One display option not mentioned so far is UTM. I prefer UTM since it reads out in meters and is given in all the NGS listings (they actually give 3 decimal digits of a meter which is 1 mm precision). I can look at two points in UTM format and know immediatelly that one is x meters north and y meters east of the other. It is also as precise as DD.DDDDD in both directions (accuracy is another thing, dependent on satelites, etc.).

 

Also, there ws a guy from Topozone who posted here a while back and he said the UTM output available from Topozone is the most precise that you can get from them (more precise than the usual screen pixel).

 

Another thing to remember is that in calculations (including format conversions) always use more precision in the calculation than you intend to keep in your answer. Errors in precision of intermediate steps can get vastly multiplied by the calculation. That is why your unit may keep some "hidden digits" that are not displayed. So if you say "with my reception I can't get closer than 20 feet, so why bother with all those decimal places", you may be making a mistake if you then convert what you got to another format. Keep all the precision your unit can produce until you get to the final answer.

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4leafclover -

 

I can see the NGS's point, that, after they have decided that a disk is destroyed (because of how much it was moved out of position or something) and notified the reporter accordingly, they'd rather the disk was removed from the site one way or another so that no one tries to put it back.

 

I have reported destroyed a very few times on GC.com but never on the NGS site. As an amateur, I am very uncomfortable with the idea of the process of trying to get a mark declared as destroyed by the NGS. This whole thing certainly does not make me want to get a mark declared destroyed. The only thing I'm comfortable with in reporting to the NGS site is Founds. ;)

 

If I were the NGS, I'd try to require that the disk be sent in to them and pay the person for sending it in, but I'm not the NGS. :) As we know, it is a crime to remove a disk that isn't destroyed.

 

Yes, my GPS receiver gives 5 decimal places in degrees mode, or 3 decimal places in minutes mode, or 1 decimal place in seconds mode. I thought they all did the same. :(

 

not that I'm a fan of marks being destroyed, either...but when I noticed the one I ended up owning, pulled out of the ground, the city surveyor told me THEY had marked it destroyed, and then gave me permission to take it. I don't think the NGS has any use for disks that have been dislodged from their proper setting, as far as I know.

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As I've said, it's under the snow now, and will be for some time. The fate of the thing will be up to the NGS, but I'm probably down on the list of who might end up with the disk. Remember, it's on private property (the trail group), and even if I ended up with it, I'd probably give it to the guy who mowed around it for decades and seemed quite attached to it. Remember, it's not the kill, but the thrill of the chase :)

 

 

Now, see. I think this would be a very sweet thing to do. I can see why the guy would want it.

 

And Shirley, don't worry...I'm still on the lookout in my area, too....

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