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MRAS

NGS Program for Control Information

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If you want a free program that retrieves, sorts, plots, and works with geodetic control datasheets, this program is for you. It is called Gethvlst and can be downloaded from:

 

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PC_PROD/pc_prod.shtml

 

There is a routine in this program which can take a tab-delimited file from Garmin MapSource and create a hand-held input file. (Tools>Convert Garmin to HH) When getting a position on a bench mark, use the PID for the point name and the designation (exactly as it appears on the datasheet) for the note.

 

If you send me the HH file, I will get the bench mark positions for the points you recover updated on the official datasheets. Make sure your Garmin is set to NAD83 and outputs in DDMMSS.s, DDDMMSS.s

 

Note-The NGS on-line recovery page does not have a place for handheld positions. Please DO NOT put handheld positions in the recovery note!

 

You can send your HH files to:

 

marchershee@gmail.com

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OK, I am sorry, but this is pretty confusing.

 

1. I downloaded the program, read the help file and could not get it to show anything. It read a .dat file I requested it to read, and it created an index for it, but then plotted nothing, could find no PIDs in it, and when I tried Google Earth, it went somewhere in the Pacific and there was nothing plotted. I tried some other things in the menus but it seemed to have gotten no data from the .dat file except that it took a while to make the index file. I will be glad to do some further experiments if you tell me what to try. :laughing:

 

2. What is a tab-delimited file from Garmin Map-Source? I have a garmin and the Mapsource program but I don't know what this kind of file is. The garmin waypoint files I download from my Garmin are GPX files, not tab-delimited files.

 

3.

I will get the bench mark positions for the points you recover updated on the official datasheets.
Does this mean you will get our HH data into the NGS database's datasheets in some new way; in a recovery report with just the HH coordinates in it, or in the header somewhere, or to replace the scaled coordinates? Do you work for the NGS? I don't understand what this means. Sorry, this is quite a bit ouside the box for me at the moment. ;)

 

4. We were told here to go ahead and enter HH coordinates in recovery notes. Is this now illegal or something?

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I got the program to get a new .dat file from the NGS. It then did the plot, a Google Earth plot, and some other functions. I cannot get it to read any of the .dat files that are already on my computer's hard drive.

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To create the HH file:

 

Download the reciever with MapSource. Next, click 'File>Export'. When the file box appears, select 'Text (Tab Delimited) and give it a file name. Next, start Gethvlst and click 'Tools>Convert Garmin to HH'. Select the file and click okay. For agency symbol, enter 'GEOCAC' and click 'Okay'. Send the HH.txt file to me and I will see that it gets posted to the database (it usually takes about a week or so, depending upon how busy they are).

 

NGS has no automated way of updating the positions from the descriptive text, but they do have a program for updating the position from a HH.txt file.

 

Once the position of a bench mark has been updated and you download the new data, it will plot a lot closer with Google Earth and Delorme Street Atlas than it did from the scaled position. If you want a good example, download the data for Talbot Co., MD.

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To create the HH file:

 

Download the reciever with MapSource. Next, click 'File>Export'. When the file box appears, select 'Text (Tab Delimited) and give it a file name. Next, start Gethvlst and click 'Tools>Convert Garmin to HH'. Select the file and click okay. For agency symbol, enter 'GEOCAC' and click 'Okay'. Send the HH.txt file to me and I will see that it gets posted to the database (it usually takes about a week or so, depending upon how busy they are).

 

NGS has no automated way of updating the positions from the descriptive text, but they do have a program for updating the position from a HH.txt file.

 

Once the position of a bench mark has been updated and you download the new data, it will plot a lot closer with Google Earth and Delorme Street Atlas than it did from the scaled position. If you want a good example, download the data for Talbot Co., MD.

 

Is this limited to Garmin only?

 

What about the other waypoints on the GPSr? Do we need to clear the memory and only have waypoints for the benchmarks found?

 

Seems like a better solution would be to use GSAK & filter for "Found Benchmarks" (you can enter the corrected coordinates there.) and export the 'tab delimited' file from GSAK and only have those that you have visited (found).

 

Also, who might you be and why should we send the file to you?

 

John

Edited by 2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

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>Please DO NOT put handheld positions in the recovery note!

 

Sorry to be slow to understand, here, but I need to absorb this in pieces.

1) Are you an NGS person?

2) Are you taking over for Deb as the recovery editor?

3) Is this change in procedure a new directive from NGS?

4) If we can't/don't want to go through this procedure (maybe don't have a compatible GPSr, maybe don't want to clear the other memory in the unit) do they still NOT want handheld positions in the recovery note?

5) Do you want HH positions submitted this way for marks we have recently submitted recoveries on?

6) Do we put our other recovery notes into this file somehow?

7) Do our initials still appear on the recovery logs?

Edited by Bill93

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>Please DO NOT put handheld positions in the recovery note!

 

4) If we can't/don't want to go through this procedure (maybe don't have a compatible GPSr, maybe don't want to clear the other memory in the unit)

 

Or maybe don't happen to run a Windows OS and Mapsource...

 

Is there another way to get the information to you, or into this file format for updating?

 

I'm also wondering who exactly you are, and what connection you have with the NGS that we send this file to you.

 

I haven't downloaded and played with the software obviously as I don't run Windows at home. I'd also question though about other waypoints, as Bill pointed out. If I download from my GPS into Mapsource (assuming I have a Windows machine to run mapsource on) I've currently got over 700 waypoints. I'm pretty sure the NGS doesn't need to update the coordinates for such things as my home, the Fleet Farm in Appleton WI, or a rock that I intend to one day retreive for my wife's garden. On your end is the software intelligent enough to sort out only waypoints with names of NGS benchmarks with *scaled* coordinates?

 

The idea of being able to update coordinates of scaled marks is very appealing...just looking for some more information here.

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First, a little background. I am a licensed surveyor in Maryland with over 36 years of experience in recovering, plotting and using geodetic control. I am also a programmer under contract to NGS to provide windows-based software and training.

 

In regards to recovering and positioning geodetic control:

 

The load_HH process is completely independent from the recovery web page. You should enter a recovery note via the web page if it has been serveral years since the last recovery. However, you can update the position of the mark anytime, even if someone recovered it yesterday, last week, last month, or last century.

 

Here is how it works:

 

If the PID and designation match those in the NGS IDB and the hand held postion matches the database position within 10 seconds, and the precision of the new position is as good as or better than the precision of the IDB position, the position will be updated with the new HH position. As most bench marks have scaled positions, the GPS postion will be at least 10 times better. The load_HH process only updates the position of bench marks and can handle any number of marks.

 

HH1 is for hand held positions determined by Differential GPS positioning (DGPS) and is expected to be accurate to less than one meter. This type of system usually costs from $2,000 to $15,000. HH2 is for Autonomous GPS positions (AGPS) which are expected to be accurate to less than ten meters. Most folks have HH2 equipment.

 

If you are using a hand held GPS unit and software other than Garmin that can output a text file of PIDs, Designations, and positions, you can use the 'Tools>Convert delimited text file to HH' procedure in Gethvlst to create the HH.txt file. The HH.txt file is simply a pipe-character (|) delimited ASCII text file that can be created by any text editor. See Gethvlst documentation for file format.

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Hi, MRAS,

 

Excuse the confusion from the members of the Forum. We have several individuals at NGS who serve as "coaches" for those of us who file NGS recovery reports. For many years, we have been following their guidlines, which are summarized as:

......You can record your GPSr coordinates for the mark and include them in the notes area of the NGS recovery form. Your coordinates will be used to help people find the mark in the future. Keep in mind that submitting handheld GPSr coordinates is totally optional. If you do chose to submit handheld coordinates you should know that NGS uses the NAD83 datum and coordinates are recorded as DD MM SS.S. Recovery reports which include GPS readings should conform to those standards.

 

I can see the value in correcting the SCALED coordinates in the data base. As you pointed out, even HH2 cordinates might be more accurate than the published figures--although we find that some SCALED benchmarks are next to large buildings and monuments, where GPSr readings are rendered inaccurate by reflected and blocked signals.

 

By the way, the majority of GEOCACHING.COM participants use HH2 equipment; although there are a number of professional surveyors represented in our group.

 

I'm not sure I agree with your statement that most benchmarks have SCALED coordinates. But I certainly agree that there are a lot of them with SCALED coordinates, and we're finding them 100 to 600 feet in error. At the present time, those of us who file recovery reports with NGS put the coordinates into the correct format (DDMMSS.S) and include them in our notes only if the mark has SCALED coordinates. We use the abbreviation HH2, so that everyone understands the accuracy limitations of our equipment.

 

This topic might be more appropriate in the NGS forum on this website, for two reasons. First, only a percentage of benchmark hunters report to NGS. Second, we encourage new folks to participate in the hobby for a while before attempting to report to NGS. There are significant differences when reporting to NGS, vs. posting one's finds to this site--and it's not just the different format for coordinates. As a professional surveyor, you are familiar with the rather unusual terms and phrases found in NGS data sheets, as well as the rather unconventional guidelines for reporting CONDITION. (Some of our people are still trying to come to grips with the fact that a benchmark might exist, and yet be "destroyed".)

 

I'm excited about the program you've described, and I'm glad you brought it to our attention. It will not take long for some of our more computer-savvy folks to figure out how to use it. And I predict that one of the NGS staffers will join the discussion fairly quickly to give the Organization's viewpoint.

 

If they "bless it", we can incorporate some basic guidelines for it's use into our program. This might have opened a new era in NGS reporting. As the largest reporting organization, GEOCAC has the potential to make the NGS coordinates more accurate for many of the existing survey stations with SCALED coordinates.

 

-Paul-

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MRAS -

 

We're getting there! :unsure:

 

See Gethvlst documentation for file format.
I looked for this and couldn't find it easily. In Gethvlst, I clicked on: Help, Gethvlst Help, Exported Files, Exporting Files, File Types, Garmin. The file was shown but not described and it looked like tab-delimited, not pipe-delimted.

 

I did find a view of the HH export format however by putting "garmin" in the help screen's Index tab's search window. I see that a .txt file that Gethvlst will import has the following fields separated by vertical bars (pipes):

PID, Designation, Lat, Lon, HH2, and something else (the example says MDSHA) with the Lat and Lon formats being: NDDMMSS.S and WDDDMMSS.S

What is the 'something else' field? Can it be blank?

 

I'm looking for an explicit format because I find that my Garmin Mapsource (V2.0) does not seem to read the waypoints from my GPSr; it only reads the "maps". Also there are several people among us who do not use Garmin GPSrs, so we will have to make our own HH files.

 

One thing to consider is that EasyGPS is somewhat of a standard in the Geocaching community for taking waypoints from a GPSr and making an output file from it. The output file it makes is a .GPX file. Other programs read waypoints from GPSrs too, but I think few or none make the exact kind of .txt file that Gethvlst (or load_HH) wants to import, but they all make a .GPX file. Therefore, it might be good to consider making a .GPX import format for Gethvlst. Otherwise we (someone; if no one else does it, I will) will be wanting to write a program to convert .GPX to HH ourselves, or manually make the .txt file you want with a text editor (it's so tedious to connect one computer to another by hand-typing!).

 

I'm gathering from your posts, but I wish to see it explicitly said (confirmed or corrected) by you - that the following is true (?):

1. You, as a contractor for the NGS, have some sort of inside track with the NGS, in which HH files sent to you will be accepted by the NGS, but we cannot send to the NGS such HH files directly.

2. The NGS will take HH input sent through you and replace the current scaled coordinates (of those PIDs that have scaled coordinates) with the HH coordinates we send to you in a file.

 

If such replacement of coordinates in the datasheet happens, then the word SCALED in the coordinates line will be replaced with HH2? If this happens, then I assume that no susequent HH files sent through you will update/correct/overwrite those HH2 coordinates on the datasheet, since the datasheet will no longer have scaled coordinates. (?)

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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I certainly agree that there are a lot of them with SCALED coordinates, and we're finding them 100 to 600 feet in error. At the present time, those of us who file recovery reports with NGS put the coordinates into the correct format (DDMMSS.S) and include them in our notes only if the mark has SCALED coordinates.

In fact, as Paul knows, we've had discussions here before (in this forum, and possibly also in the NGS forum) about the conditions under which we should include new coordinates in our NGS reports. I, for instance, don't bother unless the scaled coordinates are at least a few hundred feet away from the mark's location. Other people include them even for smaller corrections.

 

This topic might be more appropriate in the NGS forum on this website, for two reasons. First, only a percentage of benchmark hunters report to NGS. Second, we encourage new folks to participate in the hobby for a while before attempting to report to NGS.

Good point, Paul. This is "advanced reporting" we're talking about here, not everyday logging to Geocaching.com and Waymarking.com.

 

This might have opened a new era in NGS reporting. As the largest reporting organization, GEOCAC has the potential to make the NGS coordinates more accurate for many of the existing survey stations with SCALED coordinates.

Indeed, if we discover that the NGS wants handheld coordinates for all scaled locations, I'll be happy to give them everything I've collected.

 

Patty

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I suggest that if you have taken coordinate readings from your GPSr then this topic means that the NGS wants to replace "SCALED" with "HH2" data for all scaled horizontal coordinates, so it doesn't matter how close or not they are, just so it is less than 10 seconds different. HH2 is a more accurate technology than scaling.

 

I didn't really save the coordinates that were once in my GPSr. I put them in the texts of NGS logs when I did submit logs to the NGS. I suppose this topic would indicate that the NGS would like it if all of us read our own NGS logs that have HH2 coordinates in text, type them in an HH file and send the resulting file to MRAS, unless the NGS plans to mine the texts, which I doubt.

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Sorry for the confusion. To most folks the term 'Bench Mark' means any geodetic control point (Horizontal or Vertical). To surveyors 'Bench Mark' is a control point of known elevation (Vertical control). Horizontal control points are usually triangulation stations, traverse stations, or GPS stations, and are shown to 5 decimal places of Lat/Lon. There are about 4 times as many vertical control points as there are Horizontal control points, at least in Maryland.

 

The export procedure in Gethvlst creates a tab-dlimited text file for import into MapSource, which could then be uploaded into a GPS reciever, if Garmin ever decides to create an import routine from that type of file. I probably jumped the gun on that one.

 

I am using MapSource V6.0 to download my receiver. I Then use 'Save As' in MapSource to create the tab-delimited text file. I then use the 'Tools>Convert Garmin to HH' within Gethvlst to convert the Garmin tab-delimited file to a HH.txt file.

 

The last column is the agency code; use 'GEOCAC'. I retired from MDOT State Highway Admininstration in June of 2005, so most of my finds are shown as 'MDSHA'. Here are a couple that you can check out: HU0937, HU0938.

 

Of the handful of 'loaders' that work at NGS, only two of them have used the Load_HH program that I am aware of. Both of them are busier than one-legged people in a butt-kicking contest. As it takes about 15 minutes to load a 'clean' HH.txt file, I would much rather send them a single file of 1000 points instead of having 1000 people send them files of a single point.

 

For those recoveries that contain positions in the descriptive text, send me a list of PIDs for those points.

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Now we're starting to get the picture. Thanks, MRAS. I think there are still a few open issues to iron out. From my standpoint, I sometimes gather HH2 positions, if like Wintertime said, there are some notable issues with the scales coords. But - with the knowledge that there is a way to actually update the database position (not just in the recovery note), I think that will provide some "incentive" for me to gather more positions for recovered scaled marks.

 

MRAS: Just FYI on common terminology used on this forum: From the "geocacher" standpoint (those who do not usually submit recoveries to NGS), the term "benchmark" (one word) generally refers to any survey marker (H or V control). Those of us who normally report to NGS tend to use the words "Bench Mark" (two words, sometime with caps) to mean the true survey Bench Mark (V control, typically scaled H position), and if we refer to a mark with H control (with adjusted H position), we will normally (at least try) to refer to it as a station or survey mark, or maybe just mark. No one is perfect, and we might slip and call it a benchmark.

 

Keep your good info coming. I really think you are onto something, and as long as NGS is on board with the whole deal, this looks very promising.

 

I do think the moderator should move this whole thread to the NGS forum. Maybe a sticky locked link to it with a short explanation at the top of this forum would be good.

Edited by Klemmer & TeddyBearMama

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Both of them are busier than one-legged people in a butt-kicking contest.
LOL :)

 

As it takes about 15 minutes to load a 'clean' HH.txt file, I would much rather send them a single file of 1000 points instead of having 1000 people send them files of a single point.
This sounds very reasonable. I'm sure the NGS will be appreciative of your concatenating and 'proofing' our input files.

 

For those recoveries that contain positions in the descriptive text, send me a list of PIDs for those points.

So you are offering to mine the texts for our HH2 data? Excellent! Impressive! :)

 

I do think the moderator should move this whole thread to the NGS forum. Maybe a sticky locked link to it with a short explanation at the top of this forum would be good.
With all due respect to the people who have the opposite opinion of mine, I really wish the "NGS forum" would be absorbed into this one. It seemed a good thing to some at the beginning, but a review of general practices demonstrates otherwise. There were no posts there for about a year. NGS present and past personnel have posted in this forum more times than in the NGS forum, I think. I consider it a PITA to be searching in 2 forums for new posts about benchmarks, when one of them hardly ever gets a post. For several months, I have been thinking of requesting TPTB to put the 2 forums together. Many posts on both sides include material of interest to both people who do, and do not do, NGS recovery reports. I just don't see the great need for the divide, and apparently neither do NGS people. If there is interest in this discussion, I think someone should make a new topic on it and let this topic be. :) Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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Now we're starting to get the picture. Thanks, MRAS. I think there are still a few open issues to iron out.

Such as whether there's a way for us UNIX (Mac OS, Linux, etc.) users to participate. I can generate tab-delimited files from MacGPS Pro, but I can't run "gethvlst".

 

I really think you are onto something, and as long as NGS is on board with the whole deal, this looks very promising.

Yes, I will feel much more comfortable with this whole idea if Deb gives it her blessing.

 

Patty

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Now we're starting to get the picture. Thanks, MRAS. I think there are still a few open issues to iron out.

Such as whether there's a way for us UNIX (Mac OS, Linux, etc.) users to participate. I can generate tab-delimited files from MacGPS Pro, but I can't run "gethvlst".

As I understand it, if one makes a | delimted HH text file as described, Gethvlst is not required. The text file is read by the load_HH program.

 

Actually, I'm not that certain that the whole garmin-file ---> Gethvlst ---> HH file process is going to be all that useful. When I load my GPSr with PIDs from the NGS, each PID has the scaled coordinates and the PID as the identifier. When I read coordinates at the mark, the GPSr stores the coordinates with a serial number that it makes and which I include in my notes about the find. To make the HH file, all the waymarks from the NGS have to be discarded and the serial numbers changed to PIDs. The process will be a bit error-prone, if not confusing sometimes.

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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We don't log with the NGS, but we do post a picture of our GPSr with the station mark when we log on GC.com.

 

HERE is a link to all of our Found logs. Feel free to retrieve the coordinates if you'd like.

 

John

 

Evidently I can not link to the found list of our accounts page. I guess that means you just have to look at our profile and select benchmarks to see all of our finds. I tried. John

Edited by 2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

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Actually, I'm not that certain that the whole garmin-file ---> Gethvlst ---> HH file process is going to be all that useful. When I load my GPSr with PIDs from the NGS, each PID has the scaled coordinates and the PID as the identifier. When I read coordinates at the mark, the GPSr stores the coordinates with a serial number that it makes and which I include in my notes about the find. To make the HH file, all the waymarks from the NGS have to be discarded and the serial numbers changed to PIDs. The process will be a bit error-prone, if not confusing sometimes.

Oh, gee yeah, I'll have the same problem! Actually, I often have three sets of coordinates. If the benchmark is on a USGS map, I make coordinates from that using the form "BMnnnn" where "nnnn" is the elevation. So PIDs, BMs, and waypoint numbers. Eeeek!

 

Patty

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"If the benchmark is on a USGS map, I make coordinates from that using the form "BMnnnn" where "nnnn" is the elevation."

 

That's a good tip! If it's on the USGS map, I zoom in on TopoZone and click in the center of the "X" to get the coordinates. I add these to my "clues" for finding the mark. Sometimes, it's very accurate, and sometimes it's within 100 feet. But every little bit helps! :unsure:

 

As for the uploading from the GPSr into MapQuest, and then exporting, I realize it can be done, but it certainly is a lot of steps. The processing takes long enough, as it is now. Since anyone looking for a mark is going to read the description, it makes sense to have the HH2 coordinates in the text. However, updating the published coordinates does not seem worthwhile, unless there is a very great error, which several folks have found on a few marks, and which Deb is in the process of correcting.

 

Meanwhile, MRAS brought up an interesting point about uploading to NGS.

 

"As it takes about 15 minutes to load a 'clean' HH.txt file, I would much rather send them a single file of 1000 points instead of having 1000 people send them files of a single point."

 

I realize he's speaking about the HH information. However, it got me to thinking.....With GEOCAC recoveries running between 500 and 800 logs per month, should we be "batching" our individual information into one upload to ease the burden on the NGS staff? In the past, I've uploaded info several times per month.

 

-Paul-

 

"Never let the value of information be exceeded by the cost of obtaining it."

 

 

.

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... Since anyone looking for a mark is going to read the description, it makes sense to have the HH2 coordinates in the text. However, updating the published coordinates does not seem worthwhile, unless there is a very great error, which several folks have found on a few marks, and which Deb is in the process of correcting. ...

I can't see the logic of this. Unless I'm completely misunderstanding this topic, the load_HH program takes an HH file as input and converts datasheets with scaled horizontal coordinates into datasheets like this one that is HD_HELD2, not SCALED. If someone gets NGS data on that datasheet, and imports it into their GPSr, then reading the description for the HH cordinates is not needed - the GPSr will already have the HH2 coordinates in it. You won't have to type the HH2 coordinates into your GPSr. They are likely better than the old scaled coordinates anyway. Scaled coordinates don't have any decimal-seconds place. HH2 is more precisce. Sure, there could be some rare cases in which the scaled coordinates are better (more accurate) but that is rather unlikely (the decimal seconds would have to =0).

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Hi BDT,

 

I was thinking solely in terms of inputing the data and feeding it to NGS, rather than in terms of convenience to the next user.

 

In other words, in correcting the published coordinates, we'd putting an additional burden on the person who makes the report. How likely is it that the next user would benefit from having the coordinates corrected in the heading, rather than in the text?

 

I.e., since the next user is likely to be a professional surveyor, working on a specific job, is this beneficial? Do they download data in electronic form, or do they print the data sheets?

 

I confess that I'm not familiar with the exact way Licensed Surveyors use the NGS information. Perhaps some of the "pro's" in the Forum can comment on this......

 

How about it, LOCSUR's? Download data, or read a printed data sheet? Like "boxers or briefs", all American wants to know! :laughing:

 

-Paul-

 

P.S. Just to clarify, this is not a question about boxers or briefs. We fear some might answer "none of the above". :-)

Edited by PFF

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-Paul-

 

P.S. Just to clarify, this is not a question about boxers or briefs. We fear some might answer "none of the above". :-)

 

I think that you would be right.

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Hi BDT,

 

I was thinking solely in terms of inputing the data and feeding it to NGS, rather than in terms of convenience to the next user.

 

In other words, in correcting the published coordinates, we'd putting an additional burden on the person who makes the report. How likely is it that the next user would benefit from having the coordinates corrected in the heading, rather than in the text?

 

I.e., since the next user is likely to be a professional surveyor, working on a specific job, is this beneficial? Do they download data in electronic form, or do they print the data sheets?

 

I confess that I'm not familiar with the exact way Licensed Surveyors use the NGS information. Perhaps some of the "pro's" in the Forum can comment on this......

 

How about it, LOCSUR's? Download data, or read a printed data sheet? Like "boxers or briefs", all American wants to know! :laughing:

 

-Paul-

 

P.S. Just to clarify, this is not a question about boxers or briefs. We fear some might answer "none of the above". :-)

 

Paul,

 

I want to electronically upload search coordinates for myself or my crew. The description is great once I get there, but give me coordinates that will walk me right up to the mark. My job is to find the mark and use it, at that point the description is not important to me as a surveyor.

 

CallawayMT

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And now a word from the least technologically sophisticated (or, most technologically unsophisticated) semi-serious, NGS-centric benchmark hunter on the planet. Intersting thread (I think).

 

So, I use MapSource to upload published coordinates to my handheld, but I don't download anything from my handheld to MapSource. (When I find a mark with SCALED coordinates, I note and write down the coordinates I read off the handheld, convert them to the NGS format (manually) and include them with my recovery report.) And the whole idea of changing my habits and learning to do a "garmin-file ---> Gethvlst ---> HH file" exercise is, well, way too [old dog - new tricks] for me. But, I do have a rather large capacity for "writing down - arithmetically converting - typing into Excel" kinds of stuff.

 

To the point: can I enter the appropriate data into an Excel spreadsheet and convert it to/save it as a "pipe-character (|) delimited ASCII text file" named "HH.txt" with the same result?

 

Second question: regarding "For those recoveries that contain positions in the descriptive text, send me a list of PIDs for those points." Excel OK?

 

Thanks,

Will

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I suppose I should be waiting for MRAS to respond but anyway, here's my present take on this:

 

Get your HH coordinates from wherever you have them and put them in this format (in Excel or whatever) (this uses HU0754 as example data):

 

HU0754, 49 A, N384447.6, W0753618.6, HH2, GEOCAC

 

If you're using Excel or some similar spreadsheet program, put those things between commas in separate cells, and then save-as CSV (comma-delimited) text. The resulting text file can be opened with Notepad, and in Notepad, click Edit, then Replace, and fill in the edit-replace boxes so as to replace all commas with pipe characters, and save the file again and send it to MRAS.

 

Another option is to type the stuff above into a text editor like notepad and put the | characters in yourself, instead of commas. Like this:

HU0754|49 A|N384447.6|W0753618.6|HH2|GEOCAC

 

I don't know if load_HH is allergic to extra spaces in fields or not. MRAS?

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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Good news! Gethvlst V 5.05 is now available on NGS's website:

 

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PC_PROD/pc_prod.shtml

 

With Version 5.05, one can create a HH file directly from a .gpx file. After creating the HH file, there is a tool that will check the HH file against NGS's database to make sure there are no problems with it. What could be easier?

 

I sent March's finds to NGS and they should be updated shortly. I am a little discouraged though. I was hoping on being inundated by HH files, but I have only received one so far from Paul.

 

Send your HH files to: marchershee@wildblue.net

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It will be months before I can recapture the HH2 co-ordinates for all my recoveries.

Eventually it will happen, hopefully you're in this for the long haul. <_<

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As I have begun to add corrected co-ordinates to my GSAK database, I have made an interesting discovery!

Perhaps I am the last to know, but I think it's cool.

GSAK users who have the latest version now have available a Google map embedded in the split-screen view, and it can display Street maps, 'Satellite', Hybrid, Terrain, US TOPO, and Canadian TOPO views with the location of the waypoint being indicated displayed on the map.

The interesting thing is that when you enter corrected co-ordinates, you get an icon on the map for both the original location and the corrected one.

Very useful!

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The following Benchmarks now have upgraded Handheld GPS positions:

 

EZ1592

EZ1590

FY1988

FY1989

EZ1635

EZ1630

HV8270

HU0734

HU1010

HV8270

HU2577

HU0637

HU2560

HU2561

 

Check them out!

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I created a tool to extract geographic positions and create HH files from descriptive text. I'm going to do all of the counties in Maryland over the next several weeks. If anyone knows what states/counties have a lot of bench mark descriptions with geographic positions in the text, please let me know and I will mine them too.

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On 4/10/08 539 additional hand-held postions for benchmarks were loaded into the NGSIDB.

Keep 'em commin', keep 'em commin'...

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Keep 'em commin', keep 'em commin'...

 

Will do! Watch your gmail account for two messages--each with an Excell spread sheet attached.

 

-Paul-

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While compiling a list of benchmarks with scaled coordinates for MRAS, I loaded the PIDs into the NGS site to check for typos. I was surprised to find that some of the marks had been updated to adjusted coordinates, a few months after my recovery was filed.

 

I was pleased to note that my HH2 GPS reading was exactly right in most cases, and it never was off more than 0.1 second. It probably helps that my coordinates are averaged for several minutes and I use an amplified antenna when under trees. Nevertheless, it was interesting to have a validation of the equipment and the technique!

 

By the way, North and South Carolina are engaged in an agressive program to update old marks and establish new ones. So if you're sending info to MRAS, you may want to check the PIDs for updating--especially if you have an active Geo Survey in your state.

 

Speaking of new marks, Harnett County (NC) got 30 new marks in 2006. They are set in pairs, about 0.3 mile apart, and they have adjusted coordinates. Oddly, Randolph County has some marks which were monumented in 2005, and they appear in the database with scaled coordinates. Perhaps the emphasis was on height, rather than horizontal position?

 

-Paul-

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What could be easier?

 

I sent March's finds to NGS and they should be updated shortly. I am a little discouraged though. I was hoping on being inundated by HH files, but I have only received one so far from Paul.

 

Send your HH files to: marchershee@wildblue.net

 

Well, for some of us, what could be easier would be a program that would run on a Mac. :laughing:

 

Seriously, I've still got a couple of questions. I can send you several counties that I've reported on extensively, where you'd find quite a few stations with HH2 coordinates in the text. If you can mine those and upload, that would be great.

 

For future recoveries though...As I run Mac at home, I am unable to run Gethvlst to create the HH file. In thinking about the way I do things, I am wondering if you could take a GPX file and go from there?

 

The way I have normally been doing things is to manually adjust coordinates via topo maps when a mark is present, then when a mark is found, I'll average that waypoint to make my coordinates more precise for reporting, then load the *updated* waypoints back into my computer.

 

From there it wouldn't be that difficult to delete all irrelevant waypoints and create a new GPX file to send, containing only the marks I've found on a given day/week/month or whatever that I can provide HH2 coordinates for. Is that an acceptable way of providing you the information?

 

Looking forward to hearing back on this.

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Well, for some of us, what could be easier would be a program that would run on a Mac. :)

 

 

Go ahead and send me the .gpx file. I can generate the hh file from that.

 

Also, send me the state(s) and counties that have the hh positions in the text. I will go ahead and mine them:

 

marchershee@wildblue.net

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959 new hand-held positions for marks were loaded into the NGS IDB on 8/26/08.

Please use marchershee@gmail.com to email me new held positions in .gpx format.

Thanks.

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Nice program, MRAS !

 

I noticed that if you don't choose horizontal and don't choose vertical, you get both.

 

What, no link to Geocaching's Benchmark site??? :P Heh heh.

 

What do the red and black boxes distinguish?

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Yep. One more tool in the tool box. We have other ways to do similar things, but more ways are always better. I've also got blue boxes. The only pattern I see are that my red ones are in generally higher elevation areas (?).

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Yep. One more tool in the tool box. We have other ways to do similar things, but more ways are always better. I've also got blue boxes. The only pattern I see are that my red ones are in generally higher elevation areas (?).

 

Squares are vertical control points, triangles are horizontal control points. Blue are first order, red are second order, black are third order, and pink are the GPS control points that are part of the NAD83/2007 adjustment.

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Wow! Google Earth is becoming a powerful tool. In our state, NCGS recently plotted the old magnetic meridians on GE. Unfortunately, the old monuments have scaled coordinates, so it's not as helpful as it might be. But, with dual overlays (meridians and benchmarks), we can see which old monuments line up with modern PID's.

 

Meanwhile, here's a link which will give you both NGS datasheets and GEOCAC datasheets on Google Earth, along with a summary box showing the last recovery date and agency. And using the topo overlay is a bonus when looking for old marks.

 

http://ngs.tsqmadness.com/

 

-Paul-

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Meanwhile, here's a link which will give you both NGS datasheets and GEOCAC datasheets on Google Earth, along with a summary box showing the last recovery date and agency. And using the topo overlay is a bonus when looking for old marks.

 

http://ngs.tsqmadness.com/

Wow, I didn't know anyone still used my utility. (I use it all the time when I'm couch-potatoing a road-trip. :) ) Anyways, my database is a little old, and there's at least two states missing. This winter I'll be redoing the database, and change the waypoints so that different marks are in their own folders. (i.e, Don't want to see Intersection stations? Deselect that folder. And so on..)

 

As an aisde, I am surprised at how many different programs the NGS has listed on that page! I never knew all that was there!

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Get the latest version of DSWorld (2.03) from NGS's website:

 

www.ngs.noaa.gov/PC_PROD/PARTNERS/index.shtml

 

Now has a pull-down to plot EVERYTHING in a 1-mile radius of a given Lat/Lon. This will plot Destroy marks, published marks, reference marks, azimuth marks, calibration baseline marks, temporary bench marks, Tidal bench marks, etc. - anything in the NGS IDB. Works with GE 5.0.

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I'm a newbie here, still in the early learning phase.

 

But that DSWORLD program is pretty neat; much faster to load up all the results for a given county into Google Earth.

 

The one disadvantage it seems to have compared to bmgpx is that you only get a link to the datasheet, rather than the actual info from the datasheet. When I load the bmgpx results after processing a county file into Google Earth, I can quickly browse the recovery results. But of course it's a bit more work to get those results into Google Earth (several manual steps, at least the way I'm doing it).

 

Are the DSWORLD results using the yearly county archives (which for me is 2006 for WA state) ?

 

Now if I can only find some time to get out and actually hunt for a few of these...:(

 

Thanks,

 

rtreit

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OK now my dummy side shows.

 

MRAS I downloaded it installed it and can not get it to work.

 

I looked for a tutorial but did not find anything.

 

Any Help out here???

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