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2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

What do these have in common?

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What do the following have in common with benchmark hunting?

 

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0

Winchester 10X25 binoculars - donated by Dragon Clan

Pentax K1000 35mm camera / used, with a few small extras

Cordless phone - Uniden 2.4 GHz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it time for another benchmark hunting contest?

 

Suggestions are welcome.

 

John & Shirley

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Yippee! Last year's was so much fun that it'd be a blast to do it again!

 

A special 'altitude' category could be created for the recovery of the highest mark as well as the aggregate altitude of all recoveries (oops - that's quite a database management task...).

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Yippee! Last year's was so much fun that it'd be a blast to do it again!

 

A special 'altitude' category could be created for the recovery of the highest mark as well as the aggregate altitude of all recoveries (oops - that's quite a database management task...).

 

Maybe something like a bonus for finding one of the "extreme" benchmarks listed Here?

 

Just click on your state to see the "extreme" benchmarks.

 

John

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Hey I was just thinking the same thing myself, so I came looking. Closest or farthest from home coordinates. Anything sounds good to me.

The Fossillady

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What do the following have in common with benchmark hunting?

 

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0

Winchester 10X25 binoculars - donated by Dragon Clan

Pentax K1000 35mm camera / used, with a few small extras

Cordless phone - Uniden 2.4 GHz

...John & Shirley

 

I'd say that these are things that you can't do or use well underwater.

 

Nice prizes.

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I'd be up for another one. I burnt out kind of quick last year and went back to pumping my caching numbers, I'm ready to give it another shot.

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Whoops - the only one of Alaska's extreme benchmarks I've got an even remote chance of snagging is the highest one - located 692 road miles north of me (one way) in Atigun Pass, at the northernmost point a road crosses the continental divide... (TT3615) Perhaps a road trip in July... wait - that's where the mosquitos are so thick they kill an occasional caribou calf in July!

 

atigun_pass2.jpeg

A University of Fairbanks photograph showing Atigun Pass and the Dalton 'Highway' (gravel road).

 

The southernmost mark is south of the Aleutian Chain (30-60' waves - no thanks), the westernmost mark is on the west side of Attu Island (again - in the Aleutians), the easternmost point is on the Inside Passage south of Ketchikan (maybe I could get a cruise ship to stop for me), the northernmost mark is in a seasonal bog north of Point Barrow's airport (helicopter...)... wow!

 

I'd buy dinner at Anchorage's finest restaraunt of their choice for anyone who could nab one of these marks!

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In any case, count me in for whatever kind of contest is developed - last year's was a real motivator, and I loved seeing all the different recoveries... a photo-tour of the USA via geodetic control points.

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Sure! We're always up for a new challenge! But, alas, we're running out of benchmarks to search for in our local area (North Joisey). And we would probably not want to go back to most of the ones that we've already found.

As to Holograph's extremes for NJ. Found the highest. Lowest is in the entry way to the Lincoln Tunnel, and off limits. Searched for the northernmost, and was unable to find. Might have to search again, with the metal detector (though it's private property.) Easternmost is a pole, which is missing, though the pole hole has been found and logged. Found the least recently found, though I never reported it to NGS. (It has a lot of GC logs on it.) Oldest (dated 1817) was reset in 1934. I have a DNF on it, because I wasn't prepared to dig eight inches (or more) under a ballast rock trail in the reservation. Guess that's the one I'd try for!

Interestingly, the easternmost benchmark in Pennsylvania is actually in New York! Is Cheryl still fixing such errors? Or has she retired?

Guess we'll have to see what 2OldFarts come up with for this year's contest.

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We're working on some ideas to make it fun for both the beginners and the well-seasoned benchmark hunters.

 

If you have any suggestions, please offer them.

 

Not quite sure how to do the "secret bonus" at this time, but we are working on it.

 

John & Shirley

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HMMMMMMMM!!!

 

Let's see.

Got the closeset extremes.

I will have to check the list again.

 

Miles and miles to the first unrecovered,unless I start over some stations have been 4 years since my last reoport to the NGS.

Even the one of a few are all found.

 

The Oldest US Coast Survey disc(K),stone or mark???

I am halfway between each coast.

 

A Wheeler or Davidson mark??

 

Like I said to start.

HMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!

 

Gonna be fun whatever we come up with.

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hmmm what was that thread...underwater benchmarks? at any rate, I'm in ...these contests covince me that there really ARE other benchmark hunters out there & this whole GC/Groundpeak site isn't some sort of "sim" program! :huh: ...or is it? B)

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We realize that some folks have found just about everything close to home, but we think we can still come up with something that everyone will be able to have some fun with, while participating. The newbie might have an advantage in the number of benchmarks they haven't found, but the seasoned hunter might have the edge getting the bonus. (At least we think they will.)

 

The bonus will involve the ability to use GSAK's filtering and searching the GC.com database. Help will be available once things get underway.

 

We're trying to keep it balanced, so everyone will get a fair shot at the prizes.

 

John

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I'm in! I'm sure you will come up with something fair to all. You did such a good job last year, it will be hard to top or equal. But give it a good try!

 

One odd idea: Different agency benchmarks. Got to get an NGS, USCGS, USGS (hard to do!), other Feds (DOD, etc), state, county, city. Bonus for county borders, state borders, Int'l borders.... Make it like a poker game? Full House (States over counties) beat Two Pair of NGS / USCGS..... Dates.. too? Pair of 1932's beats a pair of 1951's....something like that. Weird idea, huh?

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I'm in, still a bit of a newbie, but learning with each one. Going to be a fun challenge, as we have about 6 inches of snow on the ground here in Rochester at this time of the year, but its gotta melt some time soon. I'll have to search the forums to learn more about last years contest. Benchmarks are way more fun than caches! Woo - hoo!

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How about something involving finding previously unfound marks? In order to make it uniform we would have to pick a database, either GC.com's or the NGS's, and I would suggest that only marks whose last recovery was Not Found would be eligible.

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How about different disks? This is Klemmer's idea, but basic. Has to be PID, but you get a point for every other agency disk you run across. Of course, that's tough for folks that have cleaned out their areas.

 

Age from last recovery is interesting.

Edited by BuckBrooke

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The bonus will involve the ability to use GSAK's filtering and searching the GC.com database. Help will be available once things get underway.

I just looked at the GSAK website but couldn't find a page with system requirements. Does it run on Windows, UNIX/Linux/Mac OS X, etc.? If not, then some people wouldn't be able to get the bonus points.

 

Patty

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Oldfarts:

If you are talking using GSAK (or other method of database searching), I think you must use the NGS county downloads. I'm not aware of any way (other than manual data entry) to get GC data into a database. Or am I missing something?

 

Patty:

I don't think there is a MAC version of GSAK. I think you would have to use a PC emulator on the MAC to run it. Or, there are other database programs you could use instead, I guess.

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The bonus will involve the ability to use GSAK's filtering and searching the GC.com database. Help will be available once things get underway.

I just looked at the GSAK website but couldn't find a page with system requirements. Does it run on Windows, UNIX/Linux/Mac OS X, etc.? If not, then some people wouldn't be able to get the bonus points.

 

Patty

 

From GSAK -

17. Will you be creating a GSAK version for the Macintosh?

 

In a word, NO. Windows is my native platform and is as much as I can handle. Note: GSAK has been known to run quite nicely under "Virtual PC", "Parallels", and "Boot camp" on the Mac. If you are looking for a native OSX GeoCaching application try MacCaching

 

You will still be able to get the bonus, it will just take a little more effort. GSAK just makes the sorting easier and quicker. GSAK has all the info available except for the logs posted on GC.com.

 

According to the GSAK help files, a county database can be exported for "Excel". Maybe some kind soul will help you out by sending you the county(s) you would need. :P

 

John

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Oldfarts:

If you are talking using GSAK (or other method of database searching), I think you must use the NGS county downloads. I'm not aware of any way (other than manual data entry) to get GC data into a database. Or am I missing something?

 

There are a couple of ways to search the GC.com database for marks that will be used in this contest. Granted, those searches will take more time and effort, but they can still be done.

 

Once we get the contest scoring finally figured out to our satisfaction and post the rules in the forum, we will let everyone in on those searches.

 

John

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According to the GSAK help files, a county database can be exported for "Excel". Maybe some kind soul will help you out by sending you the county(s) you would need. <_<

 

John

 

Just tried the export on GSAK and it doesn't have the 'description' in the export, Just the fields showing on the screen. :P

 

I keep checking.

 

John

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...

GSAK just makes the sorting easier and quicker. GSAK has all the info available except for the logs posted on GC.com.

...

I created a GSAK "button" for myself that brings up the appropriate GC.COM benchmark log from within GSAK.

 

To create this:

 

1) click on Tools on the top of the GSAK window (on the far right between "Macro" aand "Help") and then click on options.

2) In the Options window click on HTML

3) In the Custom URLs screen that comes up, add a new line:

 

GC=http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=%code

 

I also added these two lines, one for the NGS datasheet and one for a Topozone screen:

 

NGS=http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=%code

Top=http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=%lat&lon=%lon&size=l&u=7

 

4)Click on OK

 

You have now defined your new button(s). To get the button(s) onto the GSAK menu bar, do the following:

 

5) Right click anywhere in the GSAK menu bar (this is the second bar from the top, which has a bunch of buttons). Then click on Customize Tool Buttons

6) In the Customize Speedbar window that appears, scroll down to Custom URLs (the last one)

7) Drag the new GC button (and any other buttons you have created) to the menu bar. Tou can also get rid of any button(s) you don't want (I got rid of MapQuest).

 

Done.

 

Now to get the GC.com page, highlight any benchmark listed on the main GSAK screen, and click on the new GC button. Voila!

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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I was looking at the extreme benchmark site for the US and

Shouldn't the eastern most mark actualy be TT6243 in Alaska?

Longitude 187-29-09W or more conventionally 172-30-51 E.

Edited by MarkDuster

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I can redo my spreadsheets for specific states, including format that would be useful.

 

That's a great offer. I really like your spread sheet format.

 

-Paul-

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I was looking at the extreme benchmark site for the US and

Shouldn't the eastern most mark actualy be TT6243 in Alaska?

Longitude 187-29-09W or more conventionally 172-30-51 E.

Holoscene can address this, but I would assume that marks which are west of the 180th Meridian are still considered on the western side of Alaska, not the eastern side. In other words all the longitudes are west longitudes and the 187s are west of the 186s which are west of the 185s etc. It really comes down to a matter of convention. It would make intuitive sense (to me) to do it this way.

 

Of course they were more clever with the International Date Line and they moved it away from the land masss and kept it west of the Alutians.

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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Topic drift warning:

 

I just use the longitude that's on the datasheet. It's fortunate for us that the NGS decided to keep going west beyond -180 degrees, otherwise Alaska would have both the easternmost and westernmost marks. Now don't be greedy!

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According to the GSAK help files, a county database can be exported for "Excel". Maybe some kind soul will help you out by sending you the county(s) you would need. :laughing:

Oh, if you're just talking about using county databases to get the bonus points, one doesn't need GSAK for that. I thought maybe there was some special capability in that software that one would need for the contest.

 

Thanks for the additional info.

 

Patty

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According to the GSAK help files, a county database can be exported for "Excel". Maybe some kind soul will help you out by sending you the county(s) you would need. :laughing:

Oh, if you're just talking about using county databases to get the bonus points, one doesn't need GSAK for that. I thought maybe there was some special capability in that software that one would need for the contest.

 

Thanks for the additional info.

 

Patty

 

The search functions of GSAK will greatly reduce the time spent in determining which benchmarks will bring the highest points. Currently some of the aspects of the contest will require searching the GC.com database for information not available from the NGS. Some aspects are available from the NGS and that's where GSAK will reduce the searching down to just minutes to get the desired information. Some things are going to be quite tough to find in the GC database.

 

Hint:logged wrong.

 

John

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Whoppeee! Another contest! I'm in.

 

(Don't tell my kids. :laughing: )

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