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foxtrot_xray

The Sign's There, The Map Says It's There...

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Hmm.. this is one of those 'backwards' things... Most of the time, a mark won't have an icon on a USGS Topo map, and there won't be a marker sign..

 

However, today completely by accident, I saw a standard black-on-white "USGS Marker Post" sign. So, I got out and poked around a little, didn't find anything. I marked the coords (N34.3850, W84.5001) and looked them up now when I got home. The Topo map shows a mark there - "BM1394" to be exact. The sign was there. But when I type those coords into the NGS search engine, nothing comes up. Even with "Browse Mode" marked. (Looking at 1-mile radius of those coords..) At least I expected a 'destroyed' record or something, but.. nothing? Is it possible that some marks are taken OUT of the database? (What other reason would the sign and a mark on the map be if there's no record.)

 

(As an aisde, I tried to increase the search radius to 2 and 3 miles, and both times get a "ERROR NUMBER = 20032" as a response. Hope I didn't break it!)

 

[Edit: Okay, now this is strange.. One I **DID** find on the same trip, and have a picture to boot, ALSO does not come up on the NGS nor Geocaching. It also had a sign with it. Both /old/ signs.]

 

Cheers,

Me.

Edited by foxtrot_xray

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There are many marks that are not in the GC.com or the nGS databases for one reason or another. Many original USGS marks are not listed because their placement, or the survey methods used to originally locate them, did not meet the NGS requirements. I've found many such marks which are not listed in the NGS database, but still shown on the USGS topos. It's especially interesting to find a series of USGS marks along a road or canal with sequential numbering, which were obviously surveyed at the same time, where most of the marks are included, but a few were left out of the NGS inclusion. The one you've found will just have to be put with the other 'found-but-not-loggable-on-GC.com' set. (It is, however, loggable on Waymarking.com)

 

- Kewaneh

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There are many marks that are not in the GC.com or the nGS databases for one reason or another.

Usually when I come across something like that, it's still in the database, just dosen't have a datasheet associated with it.

 

However!

I think I found the issue - there's something wrong with the NGS database at the moment. I tried to search by PID on it with a PID that I've FOUND and I KNOW exists, and got the same "Error Number = 20032".

 

So, I'm going to assume that the database is currently broken. :lol: (Tho, that doesn't explain why GC dosen't have it listed, unless they were both marked as destroyed for one reason or another.)

 

Will do more research, stuck for now, tho. :wub:

 

Cheers,

Me.

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Welp, being able to now search NGS, there is indeed nothing listed there.

 

I find it highly ironic that of the many benchmarks I've found that were supposed to have marker signs and very very few of them did, two I find WITH signs aren't 'legal' anymore! Oy.

 

Me.

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Did you check with the USGS instead of the NGS? If it is shown on a topo map, it is probably an USGS benchmark & not an NGS benchmark.

 

I don't know how to check with the USGS, but someone here might be able to point you in the right direction.

 

When you find out how to access USGS data, please post here and let us know what you had to do.

 

John

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Did you check with the USGS instead of the NGS? If it is shown on a topo map, it is probably an USGS benchmark & not an NGS benchmark.

I don't know how to check with the USGS, but someone here might be able to point you in the right direction.

When you find out how to access USGS data, please post here and let us know what you had to do.

 

Did a quick search on the USGS site, and found the following:

Q: How can I find survey benchmark information?

 

A: USGS survey benchmark data is not yet available on the Internet.

 

For vertical and horizontal control information on all USGS survey benchmarks in the eastern U.S., contact the USGS in Rolla, Missouri, by telephone at 573-308-3500 or e-mail at mcmcesic@usgs.gov.

 

For control information on all USGS benchmarks in the western U.S., contact the USGS in Denver, Colorado, by telephone at 303-202-4400 or e-mail at infoservices@usgs.gov.

 

MOST survey benchmarks were NOT established by the USGS, but the National Coast and Geodetic Survey, Silver Spring, Maryland. National Geodetic Survey benchmark data is available on the Web at http://www.ngs.noaa.gov ["Data sheets"]. For further assistance, call 301-713-3242 or send e-mail to infocenter@ngs.noaa.gov

 

I sent an e-mail asking about what I found, then asked if there were any plans to make the USGS database searchable and/or integrated with the NGS's database. When I get an answer, I'll let ya'll know..

 

Cheers,

Me.

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Got an e-mail back today, and it pretty much replicated what was said on the website:

USGS does not have an online website and does not plan on one. NGS does (http://www.ngs.noaa.gov) and if they happen to tie into a USGS mark then you will find our USGS bench mark material on the NGS website. To get the USGS benchmark material for the Eastern States you contact the Rolla, MO office - for the Western States you contact Denver, CO. The USGS is on file in hardcopy. You can call the toll free # 1-888-ASK-USGS (1-888-275-8747) and take option# 3 and ask for bench mark control information.

 

They did send me info on the two BM's I found, so they're USGS ones definately. Unfortunately, since they ''don't plan'' on any internet/active database, the marks are pretty useless - even for a surveyor, 'cept for looking on a map and going, "Oh, there it is."

 

Cheers,

Me.

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...the marks are pretty useless - even for a surveyor, 'cept for looking on a map and going, "Oh, there it is."...

The marks are far from useless for a surveyor. We've been using USGS benchmarks for years - long before the internet came around - the marks are simply accessed the same way they've always been accessed - by mail.

 

Most govenment agencies do not have their benchmark databases online. The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), Department of Water Resources (DWR), the Department of the Interior (DOI) and others also have extensive survey networks in some areas. Like the USGS, these agencies are willing to share their data, but most do not have the resources (or desire) to create an online database. The US postal service or e-mail is how most of the data is obtained. It worked in the past and it still works now.

 

- Kewaneh

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The marks are far from useless for a surveyor. We've been using USGS benchmarks for years - long before the internet came around - the marks are simply accessed the same way they've always been accessed - by mail.

Most govenment agencies do not have their benchmark databases online. The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), Department of Water Resources (DWR), the Department of the Interior (DOI) and others also have extensive survey networks in some areas. Like the USGS, these agencies are willing to share their data, but most do not have the resources (or desire) to create an online database. The US postal service or e-mail is how most of the data is obtained. It worked in the past and it still works now.

Interesting. I was thinking of mapping land.. for example, you're going out to get a land plot size (or something), and come across three. So.. You do a search on NGS - nothing. Then you call DOI, they don't now. Write the Bureau of Reclamation, they don't know.. a couple days go by for /that/ response, then finally get in touch wih the USGS and they have the information.. and then the descriptions ae only altitude.

 

I dunno, compared to the NGS, seems like you'd just skip over them in favor of local marks (county, DOT) or ones that are more accessible (NGS, for example.)

 

Tho, I'm NOT a surveyor, and have no clue as to what I'm talking about. :unsure:

 

Me.

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Surveyors primarily use two types of marks - Cadastral marks and Geodetic marks.

 

Cadastral marks are for the purpose of mapping land for either ownership or other usage. They are for horizontal only positioning, and include Public Land Survey System corners, property corners, and other boundary monuments. In order to establish a land boundary, cadastral monuments are used to tie the boundary to other adjoining properties.

 

Geodetic marks are for the purpose of mapping the shape of the physical surface of the land. Benchmarks - both true benchmarks and triangulation stations - are geodetic marks. They are not used for cadastral purposes.

 

While the NGS marks are more accessable to the public because of their internet presence, often times, they are impratical to use. A nearby local mark may be available, or another mark from another federal agency. The information about the marks from other agencies is available to use. It's just not as easy or quick to get as the data from the NGS. Sometimes, the project may dictate the use of a particular mark from a particular agency. When this happens, the agency, and its data, is made available to whoever needs it.

 

- Kewaneh

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While the NGS marks are more accessable to the public because of their internet presence, often times, they are impratical to use. A nearby local mark may be available, or another mark from another federal agency. The information about the marks from other agencies is available to use. It's just not as easy or quick to get as the data from the NGS. Sometimes, the project may dictate the use of a particular mark from a particular agency. When this happens, the agency, and its data, is made available to whoever needs it.

 

Interesting, thanks for the info. So, whythen, if the NGS BM's aren't as great for 'practical use' (read: local surveyors marking out lots and plots of land daily, updating township records, etc.), are the NGS ones most easily accessible?

 

Ah, anyways, no matter, now I'm on to another puzzlement: KV7101. If there's nothing there, how do we say we 'found' it? :laughing:

 

Me.

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foxtrot_xray -

 

I believe what Kewaneh was saying is that in many situations, non-NGS-database marks are closer to the work being done making the nearest NGS mark comparitively impractical to use just because it is farther away.

 

In cases like KV7101, there never will be a recovery report by anyone.

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foxtrot_xray -

I believe what Kewaneh was saying is that in many situations, non-NGS-database marks are closer to the work being done making the nearest NGS mark comparitively impractical to use just because it is farther away.

Ah, okay, yes, that makes sense. (Espically around here, where the County/DOT has more markers per mile of road than miles OF road!)

 

In cases like KV7101, there never will be a recovery report by anyone.

I found that one strange (I'm not in the area, a friend is and sent me that report) - I mean, then why even put it in the database? (Or leave it as active?) I have a few by me that are .. uh.. CRS or something like that, where there's no physcial mark, it's a GPS-something station. (Trying to find the record now..) They're not on GC.com yet, they're relatively new. I stumbled across them while doig a search on NGS.

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foxtrot_xray -

 

I imagine that it is kept in the database because its measured data contributed to the adjustment of many stations in a net. It exists mathematically and in raw data in a computer even though there's no physical point to re-find.

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foxtrot_xray -

I believe what Kewaneh was saying is that in many situations, non-NGS-database marks are closer to the work being done making the nearest NGS mark comparitively impractical to use just because it is farther away.

Ah, okay, yes, that makes sense. (Espically around here, where the County/DOT has more markers per mile of road than miles OF road!)...

Yes, that's what I was trying to say. The NGS marks are far from impractical, (they are, in fact, very practical) they're just not practical in every situation.

 

One other point I was trying to make (in my July 25th post) is that certain marks are used for certain things. Marks which are used for purposes of defining land boundaries (cadastral marks), and marks which are used to define the physical shape of the land, both horizontal and vertical (geodetic marks), are NOT interchangable. There are times when a survey mark may have multiple purposes, but benchmarks (and triangulation stations) are never used to define a property boundary.

 

An NGS mark (geodetic) and a DOT mark (cadastral) are two different types of marks, and generally, if a surveyor is looking for one of the marks, the other mark would not be considered for the same purpose, even if the marks are relatively close to each other.

 

- Kewaneh

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Where can we find a topographic map that shows the survey markers?

 

Many sporting goods stores that carry hiking, backpacking, and hunting supplies carry the USGS topographic quad maps. They can also be purchased directly from the USGS. General information about the USGS Topographic Maps can be found on the USGS website too.

 

Hope this helps.

 

- Kewaneh

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Where can we find a topographic map that shows the survey markers?

The USGS maps will show some but not all survey marks.

 

For those stations that were actually used to control the maps, you will see little triangles (for triangulation staions) and X BM (where "X" marks the spot) for bench marks. Most of these will be USGS marks. Some will have the name of the station printed.

 

But ...

 

Many, many more stations will not be on the maps.

 

So you have lots of marks which are not in the NGS database, and ...

Lots of marks that are not on the maps, and ...

Some of the marks on the maps are in the NGS database and some are not.

 

Sorry, that's just the way it is.

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Where can we find a topographic map that shows the survey markers?

 

Besides buying the maps from various outlets, most of the maps are also available as downloads.

 

You can look at the Topozone site, since it contains scanned images of the USGS topographic maps. You can also download many of the maps from state agencies. The scanned images of the USGS topographic maps are called DRGs (digital raster graphics). See http://www.holoscenes.com/special/drg_sources.html

for a list of state sites that offer free downloads.

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Sorry, that's just the way it is.

 

Sorry?! Heck, that only adds to the fun! For the first time now, I learned that the USGS had their own - I always thought the 'X' and delta's were local government's or some such. (For the first time I saw one with a sign, which is where this topic started..)

 

While driving with my girl, she said, "Let's just drive anywhere, and when we see a "X" or a triangle on a map, we'll get out and look!". I thought it a great idea until I found the USGS's ones weren't on NGS. :(

 

Just my opinoin, at any rate. :D

 

Me.

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Sorry?! Heck, that only adds to the fun! For the first time now, I learned that the USGS had their own - I always thought the 'X' and delta's were local government's or some such. (For the first time I saw one with a sign, which is where this topic started..)

 

While driving with my girl, she said, "Let's just drive anywhere, and when we see a "X" or a triangle on a map, we'll get out and look!". I thought it a great idea until I found the USGS's ones weren't on NGS. :(

 

Just my opinoin, at any rate. :D

 

Me.

It's not quite hopeless to drive and look for "X"s like that. I find that many of the bench marks in my area (Urban) and in Maine (Forest and mountains) that are on the map, ARE on NGS. And usually they are placed better than the scaled coordinates. But you just never know. I searched for a bunch on Mount desert island (Arcadia National Park) in June and many of the USGS marks were in the NGS database, except for the one on top of Cadilac Mountain - you would think of all of them, that one would be there.

 

Here's my log for a nearby one where I mention my dissapointment: Arcadia BM Click on the last picture and check my caption.

 

Maybe a slightly different strategy would be to put together a list from the NGS of where you plan to explore, then look at the local topo map and see if they are marked. Then hop in the car and go find them.

 

Bottom line: USGS marks are sometimes in the NGS database. (But not the ones you most want to find :().

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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im just going to ask whats the point in finding ngs benchmarks they dont count as geocaches i have attempted 2 and only found one and i dont see what these r all about

 

i have a guess but im not sure about what these r to me they see like markers of where the town is another question i have is why r most of these along the interstate.

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It's not quite hopeless to drive and look for "X"s like that. I find that many of the bench marks in my area (Urban) and in Maine (Forest and mountains) that are on the map, ARE on NGS. And usually they are placed better than the scaled coordinates. But you just never know. I searched for a bunch on Mount desert island (Arcadia National Park) in June and many of the USGS marks were in the NGS database, except for the one on top of Cadilac Mountain - you would think of all of them, that one would be there.

Here's my log for a nearby one where I mention my dissapointment: Arcadia BM Click on the last picture and check my caption.

Maybe a slightly different strategy would be to put together a list from the NGS of where you plan to explore, then look at the local topo map and see if they are marked. Then hop in the car and go find them.

Bottom line: USGS marks are sometimes in the NGS database. (But not the ones you most want to find :sad:).

 

Oh, very true. Down here (North Ga) I think maybe 1/5th of all USGS (X's and O's.) are listed in NGS. Of course, this is off the top of my head. I'll have to actually load them all up in Delorme and double-check with a Topo, and see how many actually match up.

 

Usually I'll pick an area to go BM hunting, but I'll also just go on random drives (alone or with the SO), staying away form major roads. (Which is when this original topic had come up..)

 

Cheers,

Me.

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im just going to ask whats the point in finding ngs benchmarks they dont count as geocaches i have attempted 2 and only found one and i dont see what these r all about

 

i have a guess but im not sure about what these r to me they see like markers of where the town is another question i have is why r most of these along the interstate.

 

It's all personal preferrence. I don't search for any Geocaches ('caches'). I only do BM hunting. To me, it's fun because they're /not/ randomly placed (unlike caches), and they are more difficult to find (sure, they have GPS coords, but sometimes they can be way off..), the descriptions give good clues on what historical items may have been around (like, say, an old railroad depot or an old factory). Also, finding a benchmark that hasn't been logged (possibly 'found) since 1972 is more of a whoo! hit than a cache that was found just yesterday..

 

Again, this is nothing but personal preference. :sad:

 

Me.

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hmm ok i have my opinion to it is fun to find if thats where they r but around here its basically looking at a freeway

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In urban areas it can be tough to find benchmarks because the development has destroyed or covered up a great many, and the changes make the descriptions obsolete so that it takes a lot more research into the local history.

 

But despite this, there are many benchmarks in your general area thatpeople have found. QO1693, QO0684, QO0808 are within a few miles of where you recently found caches. There are hundreds with no found or not-found log in the less developed areas you cache in.

 

Benchmark hunting is best for people who like a careful, deliberate investigation that leads to a success which often does not come easy, and like to verify all the details before they move on. If you prefer more fast-paced excitement, then caches are probably better for you. To each his own.

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