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kayakbird

Solid Brass Found - not listed

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Sorry about the "dead air". I had lost my scab wireless connection and didn't realize it had posted.

 

Is there a way to get a for sure standard "BENCH MARK DISK" brass cap into the system? In the fast month I have found one in Meagher Co, Montana (with a witness post tag ) and two in Park Co, Montana - one of these in a newer highway bridge.

 

I like do some of my BM hunting by checking likely places without the benefit of a DATASHEET. ML

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Is there a way to get a for-sure standard "BENCH MARK DISK" brass cap into the system?

 

No.

 

The short explanation is that inclusion in the NGS data base requires a very, very, very high degree of precision for vertical and/or horizontal positioning.

 

Longer explanation: A disk makes it into the data base in one of two ways. It may be set ("monumented") by a state or federal geodetic agency (or by a contractor working on the agency's behalf). Or, the position of an existing mark may be determined in accordance with NGS standards, after which it is assigned a PID and submitted. (In North Carolina, this could include DOT marks, Corps of Engineers marks, National Forest Service markers, and marks monumented by a city's engineering department.)

 

My state sees about 100 new PIDs each year. Because the cost can run into the thousands of dollars, monumenting or updating a benchmark is done for specific purposes. Examples are marks established for upcoming highway construction, laying out future man-made lakes, reworking flood maps, a new survey of a state or county boundary (which may be the first survey in 100 to 150 years), and establishing reference points for checking the movement of land--up/down, or horizontally.

 

-Paul-

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There are perhaps millions of benchmark disks that are not in the NGS system. Just go to that Waymarking category, go through the motions to create one thee and you will see something like 300 agencies that have brass benchmark disks out there.

 

If you can find a database that lists yours then send that to contact@geocaching.com and perhaps they might include those into their database as they somewhere state.

 

But don't bother if it's a water monitoring station benchmark disk. 3 years ago I sent them a link to a database of thousands of those and they have not incorporated them yet.

 

i'm doing my part to document disks, I just created 9 in that Waymarking category, and have about 20 more I need to take photos of.

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But don't bother if it's a water monitoring station benchmark disk. 3 years ago I sent them a link to a database of thousands of those and they have not incorporated them yet.

 

[/quote

 

trainlove & all,

 

Yep, one of mine is a Musselshell River gage station; but I have no interest in getting bogged down in camera work. Thanks, ML

Edited by kayakbird

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If you can find a database that lists yours then send that to contact@geocaching.com and perhaps they might include those into their database as they somewhere state.

 

But don't bother if it's a water monitoring station benchmark disk. 3 years ago I sent them a link to a database of thousands of those and they have not incorporated them yet.

Unfortunately, the Groundspeak folks haven't even updated the NGS information on their site in eight years, so there's almost zero chance that they'll add any other databases. Sorry. <_<

 

Patty

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I sent them a link to a database of thousands of those and they have not incorporated them yet.

 

Could you post that link here?

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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"I have no interest in getting bogged down in camera work."

 

While not a requirement, we certainly want to encourage the taking of a photo of the disk and a photo of the area. First, it confirms that you found the correct marker, especially when someone else could not find it. See your QX0242. [Good job!]

 

Second, it helps GEOCACHING members who come afterward--some of whom are professional surveyors who want to see if the mark can be used on a project. You've probably seen their posts in the forum. And add folks like JIJ, who is a surveyor for the NC Dept of Transportation.

 

In fact, we have standing offers via the Internet, and through personal contacts, that any professional can ask about specific marks and the GEOCACHING data sheet will be forwarded to assist. A typical case is EZ1199, where we were able to provide the NC Geodetic Survey with "before" and "after" photos of a mark which appears to be missing.

 

It takes about 90 seconds to dust a monument and snap a photo. It is a minute or two longer for me because I am obsessive and treat the event as if it were a portrait sitting. [Grin.] Most folks carry an inexpensive camera, so it won't "break the bank" if it gets damaged. Even a cell phone photo is, in my opinion, more valuable than having no photo.

 

Having a several-year accumulation of photos has been useful to me on several occasions. A railroad historic site has used a bunch of my depot and bridge photos--both of which are prime sites for benchmarks. When Waymarking.COM came along, I had numerous entries ready to go in several categories (water tanks, train stations, etc.). And starting in 2008, many of my pictures appear in GoogleEarth (as those little blue squares). [see below.]

 

You may not wish to go to this extent. But at a minimum, pictures will jog your memory about a marker--especially when you've logged more than 100. And may I add one more benefit of photography? Sometimes my first indicator of another benchmark hunter in my area has been seeing a familiar object in the photo gallery. And this has led to some great team hunts!

 

So give photography a try, if you are able. Remember, a new Benchmark Photography Contest starts in 15 days. There are no prizes. Just 15 seconds of fame. [Chuckle.]

 

-Paul-

 

If you use GoogleEarth, copy and paste this in the "fly to" box, and look in the foreground:

 

34.216170, -77.793345

Edited by PFF

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If you use GoogleEarth, copy and paste this in the "fly to" box, and look in the foreground:

 

34.216170, -77.793345

Okay, I'll play. :-) I see water, paved ground, a bridge, trees, buildings, cars, and a boat. What should I be looking for?

 

Patty

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"I have no interest in getting bogged down in camera work."

 

----it helps GEOCACHING members who come afterward--

 

It takes about 90 seconds to dust a monument and snap a photo.

 

And this has led to some great team hunts!

 

So give photography a try, if you are able. Remember, a new Benchmark Photography Contest starts in 15 days. There are no prizes. Just 15 seconds of fame. [Chuckle.]

 

Paul,

 

You sure know how to twist a guy's arm! Maybe in the spring, when the grass is green, I'll wander back around to my "NOT FOUND" and no data recovery's. ML

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"If you use GoogleEarth, copy and paste this in the "fly to" box, and look in the foreground:

 

34.216170, -77.793345"

 

Where is the foreground in an aerial shot?

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For ML: LOL! Glad it worked.

 

 

For Patty and M&H:

 

In the center of the "target" box is a blue square. Hover over it to see the title, "Waterfront". Click it to see a ground view. You will be looking along the abutment of the original Intercoastal Waterway bridge. And you KNOW what you often find mounted in an abutment. :-)

 

-Paul-

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In the center of the "target" box is a blue square. Hover over it to see the title, "Waterfront". Click it to see a ground view. You will be looking along the abutment of the original Intercoastal Waterway bridge. And you KNOW what you often find mounted in an abutment. :-)

 

-Paul-

 

PFF, what things in the layers panel do you have turned on?

 

I only have terrain and roads turned on, so I do not see the little blue square. Street view comes close but I don’t see a benchmark on either side of the road.

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Worked for me too, after I turned on ALL options. Now I need to turn most off again....

 

So.... can I log it on GC.com?

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OK, I got it. Under the Geographic web turn on Panoramio layer. You can only see it when at the right altitude. If you zoom in to close the blue square disappears.

 

Nice picture Paul.

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Ah, thanks, "68-Eldo." I don't normally keep many layers turned on, so all I was getting was the blue target that offered to give me directions when I clicked on it. :-) Now I see the photo linked to it. Pretty photo, Paul.

 

Patty

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Thanks for the clarification, Paul.

 

Next question: Why does a radial search on those coordinates not pull in an NGS data sheet closer than 0.2 miles? (We converted your decimals to DD mm ss.ss, and checked them on GE to make sure they still landed on your spot.)

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Paul--

 

A P.S. after doing a little more nosing around. You've found six or seven times as many marks as we have, so these observations are offered with diffidence and respect.

 

If the decimalized coordinates in your forum post are changed to

34.217889, -77.81225

then the data sheet that matches is EA0624. The vicinity photo in your Geocac log for that mark appears to match the photo you have posted on Google Earth somewhat to the southeast.

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Hi M&H,

 

Good detective work! The benchmark in the photo is, indeed, EA0624. The coordinates on GoogleEarth are incorrect. I've put in a correction ticket to move the blue square to the HH2 position, which I measured as 34.217889, -77.81225, but I don't know how long it will be until it takes effect.

 

By the way, the standard proceedure on GE is to put the blue square at the spot where the camera was located, rather than on the object, itself. So never benchmark hunt by the blue squares--grin.

 

-Paul-

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Just need some help. Little confused about all the forums as well.file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Administrator/My%20Documents/My%20Pictures/benchmark/1226081120.jpg. I found this benchmark. And I can't seem to locate it to log it. location was approx 43.182002, -78.930041. Now what. Please help!

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A radial search on the NGS datasheet database shows no NGS marks within 1 mile of those coordinates. Therefore, it won't be in the geocaching benchmark database either. You should read the "2) We found a disk not listed on GC.com, now what?" section of the pinned "Me First" thread.

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-------So give photography a try, if you are able. Remember, a new Benchmark Photography Contest starts in 15 days. There are no prizes. Just 15 seconds of fame. [Chuckle.]

 

Paul,

 

You sure know how to twist a guy's arm! Maybe in the spring, when the grass is green, I'll wander back around to my "NOT FOUND" and no data recovery's. ML

 

Paul,

 

OK, so now I'm bogged down in snow drifts and computer photo files, but there are pictures in my Dec 08 logs of the six that were "NOT FOUND" back in the 80's; and all my recent logs. Any guidance of how many total shots to take at a mark, on site edit/delete or on the computer (have a laptop - but absolutely no idea what its storage capacity is), file management, storage devices, etc. Any tricks to simplify life for a computer nerd. Won't watch any TV until March Madness so have a bit of time for trial and error learning.

 

Thanks, Mike

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I think Paul went out today to bag FB2910, so I'll give this one a shot.

 

NGS recommends for photos:

 

1 - disk shot w/ stamping legible (a dusting of cornstarch, baby powder, or chalk helps when the stamping is hard to read)

 

2 - shot of the disk from eye level showing nearby references (indicate the direction you're facing)

 

3 - area shot w/ disk (or notebook, cone, shovel marking it if not visible) in view - again indicating the direction you're facing.

 

NGS also has suggested formats for file names (I have the link bookmarked on another computer - someone here can post the details)

 

for GC logs, there is no hard/fast rule on naming, but a lot of us will post:

 

for Pic 1 - DISK NAME, PID, City or County & State

for Pic 2 - DISK NAME, &/or PID, 'setting' - facing NW, S, NE, etc

for Pic 3 - DISK NAME, &/or PIV, 'area' - facing NW, S, NE, etc

 

Sometimes only 2 pics are posted on gc, depending on the references, etc.

 

Also for pics, I'll keep the camera on the lowest pixel setting (mine is 0.3mp which yields shots from 75-125k) to facilitate uploading. (If I run into really nice scenery, the photo buff in me kicks in & I'll take additional hi-rez shots for myself!)

 

As for storage capacity, I put most of my pics on a USB flash drive after I organize them - they're getting pretty cheap these days.

 

- Eric

Edited by Ernmark

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Here's text I had found before on NGS's site:

 

How to submit digitial photographs to NGS:

 

Take 3 photos if possible, one close-up showing mark with stamping visible,

one showing the entire monument, and one showing any nearby witness features

to aid in identifying the location, and any significant obstructions to satellite visibility.

 

Detailed guidelines are also available at: http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PROJECTS/INSTRUCTI...equirements.pdf

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Here's text I had found before on NGS's site:

 

How to submit digitial photographs to NGS:

 

Take 3 photos if possible, one close-up showing mark with stamping visible,

one showing the entire monument, and one showing any nearby witness features

to aid in identifying the location, and any significant obstructions to satellite visibility.

 

Detailed guidelines are also available at: http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PROJECTS/INSTRUCTI...equirements.pdf

 

Ernmark,

 

Thanks & thanks,

 

Just the info I was needing.

 

A couple of last questions - promise (maybe) - should I plan to submit photos with all recoveries or just the ones that are (or were in past) difficult; and what about RR trespass self incrimination?

 

Mike, aka ML or MEL

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I think Paul went out today to bag FB2910, so I'll give this one a shot.

 

LOL....I have not bagged that one, yet. However, some real estate clients just E-mailed a photo of the disk, taken on their recent visit to NC's newest state park. Interesting coincidence!

 

For Mike:

 

I've been noticing your photos in the gallery. Great work! Looks like you mastered the new camera very quickly. And you certainly weren't kidding about the snow you have to contend with!

 

I don't believe submission of photos to NGS is a very widespread practice by GEOCAC...primarily because it is a lot of extra work to resize and rename the files. Even when there have been significant changes at a site, I tend to go with a written description, without the additional time/trouble of uploading photos.

 

That's not to discourage you from sending in photos. Just don't let the value of something be exceeded by the cost of doing it. The user of your report is going to be a professional surveyor--where a thousand words may be better than one photo. Besides, NGS does not have a Benchmark Photo Contest! So where's the glory? [chuckle].

 

Keeping the photo files in order can be a challenge. I upload the 3 meg pictures from my camera to a hard drive file named with the date. I then reduce the size and save under a new name such as TRINITY Disk or TRINITY Area. After resizing, I add a box or arrow when necessary to show the disk's location relative to nearby objects.

 

I never alter an original picture because one photo often serves several purposes. A vicinity shot at a train depot may also find its way to Waymarking and/or a railroad site. A scenic shot might be uploaded to PANORAMIO (i.e., GoogleEarth). If you are going to upload to NGS, it might be helpful to start a file called NGS Awaiting Upload. After the upload, you can move photos to "NGS Complete".

 

I can store several years' of photos on my hard drive with no capacity problem. However, it is a simple matter to burn a CD with a past year of pictures, followed by a delete from the hard drive. Since I have matching personal computers at home and at work, I upload to both machines. However, I only "massage" benchmark photos on the home machine, and I brighten/crop/resize real estate pictures on the work PC. This gives a fail-safe backup, not only in redundancy on separate machines, but also geographically. (No tornado in NC history has been as wide as the distance between the computers!)

 

Working with photos is a function of what software you have. Fortunately for me, the OFFICE version of Microsoft's software has an excellent photo editing program which is not available in the HOME edition. However, there are free programs which will allow you to crop and resize. Labels and arrows can be added with PAINT, which is included with Microsoft's operating systems. MAC users, of course, can "run rings around" anything that Microsoft's photo editing can accomplish.

 

The key is to somehow remain organized without creating a "monster" when it comes to the time it takes to build and maintain the files. For me, the "thumbnail" feature in the photo viewer has eliminated the need to rename the original pictures. I can recognize what I need to extract in old files. But here's a tip: Keep the date and time accurate on your camera. This data is embedded in the file and can be invaluable at times.

 

-Paul-

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If I have a benchmark that has no code on it but know were i spotted it and have a pic of it but do not find it in the benchmark section how do I find this survey disk

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To echo Paul's comments, I too keep my 'raw' photos elsewhere & manipulate the BM photos stored in another location (in my case a USB drive).

 

Thus far, I have only submitted pics to NGS to document 'destroyed' marks, so I don't have to worry too often about the NGS-specific format.

 

I organize my photos by date, followed by the name of the area I searched in, such as 'Baltimore' or 'Adams County'

 

Regarding the RR question, there are a number of threads about that. On at least 1 pic, I made sure not to have a 'no tresspassing' sign in the area photo. I do try to be respectful & llimit any 'incursion' to the minimum needed to access the disk.

Edited by Ernmark

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If I have a benchmark that has no code on it but know were i spotted it and have a pic of it but do not find it in the benchmark section how do I find this survey disk

Thanks to Paul and Ernmark for the photo file advice below.

 

Now I'll try my luck with youngunz ??. When you say you know where you spotted it does that mean that you have GPSr Latitude and Longitude coordinates or have you scaled them off a topo map?

 

If you have those go to the NGS DATASHEET and select the county listing - just the list of points, not the DATASHEETs themselves. With the buttons across the top you can do data sorts on Lat and Long, scrolling up and down until you get coordinates that closely match yours.

 

Take that line's PID to the Groundspeak "find a benchmark" and see what comes up. Use the "nearest" link to look at other marks that are close by.

 

Good Luck, Great Fun! MEL

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Here's the disk which YoungGunz found. I'm not familiar with the U.S. LAKE SURVEY, so I'm posting his E-Mail message and photo to see if anyone else has something they can add. (Say, Shorebird--Isn't this from your "turf"? Ever seen one of these?)

 

___________________________________________________________

 

Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 02:47:13 -0800 (PST)All I have is Zip 49445 It is called the BLOCK HOUSE, It was a Lookout building in Muskegon Michigan and i have a few pics.

 

____________________________________________________

 

Hi, Dave,

 

Wow! That's interesting!

 

I did some checking, and it appears that this one is not in the GEOCACHING.COM data base. However, you can log it on the companion site, www.Waymarking.com where you will use your same User Name and Password. The category is U.S. Benchmarks, and it was set up specifically for logging marks not found on geocaching.com. You will need the Latitude and Longitude, so if you are in that area, revisit the mark and use your GPS unit to take a reading.

 

By the way, congratulations on having 80 cache finds so soon after joining the hobby! That is awesome. Benchmarks can be an interesting companion to geocaching, and here's a tip which can help. When reading the data sheet for cache, look for the button which says Find Nearest Benchmarks. Many times, a cache is within a few feet of a benchmark, and you can log "two for one" at a site. Even if the nearest benchmark is some distance away, you might find an interesting one to log as you travel to or from a cache.

 

Best regards,

 

-Paul-

 

b1e38a2f-c56f-4b6c-8b0d-c71a34c11e96.jpg

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The U.S. Lake Survey was included in the new organization when NOAA was formed in 1970. Prior to 1970, the U.S. Lake Survey was part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and had at least two styles of disk: station (“+” in center) and reference mark (arrow in center). After NOAA was formed, a disk with stamping including “NOAA NOS LAKE SURVEY” was used as late as 1974.

 

GeorgeL

NGS

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