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NGS DATABASE

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How often or when was the last time Geocaching.com updated the NGS DATABASE?

Also, when searching for Benchmarks, does that include horizontal or just vertical?

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The database of NGS marks maintained here was obtained in about the year 2000, and has not been updated since. For more on this topic, see the FAQ in the Benchmark Hunting page.

 

Strictly speaking, the term "bench mark" (usually two words) denotes a vertical control mark, an elevation. On this site the one-word term is used to denote both vertical and horizontal stations.

 

Cheers,

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The database of NGS marks maintained here was obtained in about the year 2000, and has not been updated since. For more on this topic, see the FAQ in the Benchmark Hunting page.

 

Strictly speaking, the term "bench mark" (usually two words) denotes a vertical control mark, an elevation. On this site the one-word term is used to denote both vertical and horizontal stations. Both kinds are included in the database.

 

Cheers,

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The database of NGS marks maintained here was obtained in about the year 2000, and has not been updated since. For more on this topic, see the FAQ in the Benchmark Hunting page.

 

Strictly speaking, the term "bench mark" (usually two words) denotes a vertical control mark, an elevation. On this site the one-word term is used to denote both vertical and horizontal stations. Both kinds are included in the database.

 

Cheers,

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How often or when was the last time Geocaching.com updated the NGS DATABASE?

 

NGS used to publish the data on CD ROM's for various areas (Southwest, North Central etc) of the county. They no longer do this since they made the info available on the www. For this site to update its data would involve a lot of work (programming) so its not likely to happen. NGS is continually updating the db on a daily basis.

Edited by Z15

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We apologize for the multiple posts above. We were getting "server not responding" messages that led us to keep trying.

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I get that message almost every time I post. It is almost always on the return of the updated page, not on accepting your post.

 

I copy my text to the clipboard so I've still got it, before I go back to look to see that my message showed up. Or, you can open a second browser window and make sure the post has showed up before leaving the page with the first browser window.

 

It's a minor pain, but it works.

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Of course, what makes the situation even more frustrating is that there's no way to remove the extraneous postings. (Unless you can convince a moderator to do it.) However, you can edit them, replacing the full text with "dupe" or something simple like that. Doesn't solve the problem, but at least minimizes it. ;-)

 

Patty

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I guess that is why Puerto Rico is not included in the Geocaching.com NGS database. There are many horizontal and azimuth discs featured in the NGS db (2002+) that do not show up in Geocaching.com and/or return an error message when you try to look for them. :yikes:

 

How can we get credit for finding those in PR/US Virgin Islands?

Edited by shotgunpr

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I guess that is why Puerto Rico is not included in the Geocaching.com NGS database. There are many horizontal and azimuth discs featured in the NGS db (2002+) that do not show up in Geocaching.com and/or return an error message when you try to look for them. :unsure:

 

How can we get credit for finding those in PR/US Virgin Islands?

 

Your only option is to create waymarks for them.

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Me either, and I'm in Las Vegas today, and could probably find a way to actually place a bet on it! :lol:

 

Seriously, chances are almost zero. In the geocaching.com folk's mind, the Waymarking website was created to eliminate the need for updates to the benchmark section database (as well as for some other reasons). I know it doesn't make sense (to us).

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In the geocaching.com folk's mind, the Waymarking website was created to eliminate the need for updates to the benchmark section database (as well as for some other reasons).

I wouldn't bet on that either.
  1. Jeremy emailed me a bit over a year ago and said (as an aside to another topic) that they were again considering updating the regular benchmarks site with the latest NGS information. That was long after Waymarking started. I suppose by now this thought there has dissipated long ago again.
  2. Waymarking certainly wasn't invented because of benchmarks. Dozens of Waymarking categories existed before the benchmarks one did.
  3. I think Waymarking was invented because locationless geocaches were popular but that web platform concept wasn't big enough for what it could be. There's hundreds of theories of why Waymarking was started, though. :lol:

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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I'm giving 2 to 1 odds AGAINST the Geocaching benchmark database ever being updated.

 

At the time (2000-2001) the CD set was the ONLY way to get NGS datasheets...no online access (with a possible exception for professionals) whatsoever. Jeremy did us ALL a big HUGE favor by purchasing a set of disks and porting the information to Geocaching.com.

 

Now that we can easily download all the data we want from the NGS, I'm betting Jeremy and crew have much better ways to spend their time than duplicating what is already available.

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Thumbs up to Jeremy for creating the benchmarking section on Geocaching.com. Benchmarkers, I have to assume, are a relatively small minority of Geocaching users, and maybe we're not worth as much care and feeding as we would like to think we deserve. That's Jeremy's business plan, and that's okay. Still, it is unfortunate that there has been no update in the better part of a decade, and I have to award him a thumbs down for that.

 

Most users who notice the link called "view original datasheet" probably (and not unreasonably) assume that the datasheet that pops up is current, not a document that may be eight years out of date. And, again not unreasonably, most users seeing a section on each benchmark page labeled "Documented History (by the NGS)" would assume that it is up to date.

 

Also, it's too bad that the many stations that have been added to the NGS database since ca. 2001 — thousands, I would guess — are invisible on Geocaching.com.

 

-ArtMan-

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Most users who notice the link called "view original datasheet" probably (and not unreasonably) assume that the datasheet that pops up is current, not a document that may be eight years out of date. And, again not unreasonably, most users seeing a section on each benchmark page labeled "Documented History (by the NGS)" would assume that it is up to date.

 

-ArtMan-

 

Hah! 'View Original Data Sheet', I never noticed that before. I always went and checked the NGS Site, and ignored any "NGS" data from geocaching. But now that I see the link, I can understand how that could be misleading

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For those of us that were here from the start of benchmarking here, we got used to using that 'original data' link because geocaching.com didn't parse in the box score, so clicking on the link would show the box score, if any.

 

Of course now that more than 8 years have gone by, it's just too old to use since there's a significant chance that there are later recovery notes. So instead of just looking for a box score for horizontal control marks, we need to see the NGS format for all the kinds of marks.

 

It would be nice if geocaching would add a new link to the benchmark pages - current NGS datasheet.

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I wouldn't think it would take too awfully much programming for the GC.com website to directly access the NGS database rather than GC's private copy.

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For those of us that were here from the start of benchmarking here, we got used to using that 'original data' link because geocaching.com didn't parse in the box score, so clicking on the link would show the box score, if any.

 

Of course now that more than 8 years have gone by, it's just too old to use since there's a significant chance that there are later recovery notes. So instead of just looking for a box score for horizontal control marks, we need to see the NGS format for all the kinds of marks.

 

It would be nice if geocaching would add a new link to the benchmark pages - current NGS datasheet.

 

Surveyors beware! Sometimes even the current NGS datasheet can lead you astray as seen in this thread from the POB message board.

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I wouldn't think it would take too awfully much programming for the GC.com website to directly access the NGS database rather than GC's private copy.

I believe the amount of effort would be near zero - just a template change.

 

I believe you're right about just changing the link to the original datasheet. And if you took the recovery history OUT of the standard page template and told the user to get it from the NGS datasheet (now with a proper link) you would fix that part of the problem.

 

But what you really need is a process much like Holograph does every month. Namely, query the NGS for all changed datasheets in that interval, add new stations as per a standard template, and update existing stations when recoveries are added or status changed (i.e. it became "Destroyed", etc.).

 

That would be more than trivial, but only by doing it periodically on a scheduled basis (even yearly would be better than nothing) would the problem be solved, as opposed to putting it off till it gets way out of synch again.

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.... And if you took the recovery history OUT of the standard page template and told the user to get it from the NGS datasheet (now with a proper link) you would fix that part of the problem.
Well that would rob us of all the recoveries done by those who do not report to the NGS and that includes some good recovery people Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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.... And if you took the recovery history OUT of the standard page template and told the user to get it from the NGS datasheet (now with a proper link) you would fix that part of the problem.
Well that would rob us of all the recoveries done by those who do not report to the NGS and that includes some good recovery people

..I took it to mean the "all capped" NGS info from the GC page.

 

Also - in the GC page, if a mark WAS destroyed, it would be nice for the GC listing & logs to remain, instead of 'archived' like NGS datasheets.

Edited by Ernmark

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..I took it to mean the "all capped" NGS info from the GC page.

Yes, that's what I meant. Not to change the GC recoveries (else what would there be left for us to make fun of :D ), just the stuff they take off the datasheet.

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....

 

Your only option is to create waymarks for them.

 

I am just starting out (fresh & new to geocashing as a baby), I still can't figure out how the Waymarking site works or how do you get credit (or log your finds as the GC site).

 

As a complete newbie, I do not see the Waymarking site as intuitive as GC currently is (from my viewpoint). It could be that I have not dedicated enough time to browse the site to discover the options available. So, I might be completely wrong on my remark (as a human being, I can err every once in a while ... :D )

Edited by shotgunpr

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shotgunpr -

 

Although they are all run by the same company, Groundspeak, geocaching, benchmark hunting, and Waymarking have independent 'counts' that do not interact. Geocaches' and benchmarks' counts are shown on the same website, but they don't add to each other's find count. Waymarking and all of its kinds of counts are on a different website.

 

As far as benchmarks are concerned, the geocaching benchmark site has coordinates, descriptions, finding directions, and reports for over 700,000 marks already done for you. All you need to do is find them and report whether or not you found them, and make any updates. It's a bit more challenging in a psychological way than geocaches because many benchmarks are no longer there and have been gone for decades, yet you don't know it. Geocaches are very likely there since they were placed within the last few years by someone using a GPSr.

 

The Waymarking benchmark site has no coordinates, no descriptions, no directions for finding. There's no measuring to find the marks, no figuring stuff out, no following your GPSr to find a goal, and little or no historical interest (unless you have a project to find a series really old survey marks that are not in the NGS site). It is mostly just plain finding, and reporting what you found and where, and you provide the coordinates. Again, the psychology is different; this time there's no assurance at all for you at all that any benchmark ever existed where you might be looking, with three exceptions; USGS benchmarks symbols on topo maps, section corners on topo maps, and state and local benchmarks sites that have coordinates and sometimes finding instructions similar to the NGS site.

 

Geocaching, benchmark hunting in the geocaching benchmaks site, and benchmark finding on the waymarks site are 3 different hobbies, and their psychologies are not the same, so you might like just one, or two, or even all three. Different people like different things.

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Excellent explanation! Thanks for clearing that out!

 

I already knew the NGS database gives WAY more info than the GC site. But thanks for mentioning that, not many people realize that GC just has a summary of all the info from the NGS database. Also, I understand that benchmarks are not maintained as frequently as caches are (or should be).

 

From my perspective, benchmark finding is just as trying to find an old building (or even "ruins") in which nobody guarantees you will find something. But if you do, I can't argue the joy anyone could have for doing so!

Edited by shotgunpr

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I already knew the NGS database gives WAY more info than the GC site. But thanks for mentioning that, not many people realize that GC just has a summary of all the info from the NGS database.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that. The GC database is a copy (not any kind of summary) of the NGS database in early 2000 (I think there are a few recoveries in there dated 2000). For some reason, perhaps on the NGS side, the copy didn't include any offshore parts of the U.S. except for Hawaii (no PR, Guam, etc.). There are some issues with how GC parsed in the database (mainly no box score), but if you click on "original datasheet", you'll see it's there in the GC copy that way.

 

Since the 2000 copy, obviously there has been activity in the NGS database. There are some new stations, but not many. There are a lot of new recoveries, of course. There are also some maintenance (correction) actions that have taken place; duplicate stations resolved, cross-bred recovery notes fixed, and stations put into the destroyed category (you will see them in GC, but not in NGS regular data).

 

The NGS site also includes the Ocean Survey disks, as I recall some of them are not in the regular NGS database.

 

However, all that said, the basic number of datasheets is not all that different between 2000 and 2009. The main issue is the recovery reports between those years not being on the GC site.

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Found on the waymarks site some featured BMs from PR.

Now to schedule a weekend to get there with some geocaching friends!

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However, all that said, the basic number of datasheets is not all that different between 2000 and 2009. The main issue is the recovery reports between those years not being on the GC site.

Ha! the main issue would be that the ONLY setting 60 in my county was placed in 2004 and is NOT in the GC database so I can't use it in the contest. Aarrrgh

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You could always go into another county for the contest. Or for that matter even another state. There are no boundaries except being somewhere in the United States and at few military bases elsewhere. :laughing:

 

Of course, enough free time is the problem for us this time around. We have been known to go use Arizona, Utah, Nevada and into California for other contests. :D

 

Shirley~

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You could always go into another county for the contest. Or for that matter even another state. There are no boundaries except being somewhere in the United States and at few military bases elsewhere. <_<

 

Of course, enough free time is the problem for us this time around. We have been known to go use Arizona, Utah, Nevada and into California for other contests. :lol:

 

Shirley~

You mean it's not going to be easy?! B)

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