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DukeOfURL01

Getting them into GSAK?

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I asked this a few months ago, and don't remember the answer.

 

I would like to get all the benchmarks in my area into GSAK for processing, and I know you can download lists of .loc files, however they do not have the logs. I would really like to get the logs, because sometimes people put the real coordinates in them, and you know which ones are findable or destroyed.

 

Is what I want possible, and if so, how do you do it?

 

Thanks

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Now that I've got the process worked out in another thread in the GeocacheAlaska! forums, here's the step by step process of downloading benchmark data sheets that worked for me (many thanks to NorthWes for the nudges in the right direction).

 

1. Download Geocaching Swiss Army Knife (GSAK) from here. If you don't already use it for geocaching, you'll find it to the best $25 you ever spent (after the $30/year for a Groundspeak Premium Membership).

 

2. Download the freeware application BMGPX from here (scroll down to "If you hunt benchmarks").

 

3. Go to the National Geological (NGS) Datasheet Retrieval page.

 

4. Choose your retrieval method (radial by coordinates, county, etc.). This will give you a list of benchmarks that meet your search criteria. Click on "Get Marks" to get a list of all the available datasheets in your browser window. You can choose individual benchmarks by holding down your control key and left clicking with your mouse or click on the "Select All" button. Then click on "Get Datasheets" which will give you all the data sheets in a continuous list in your browser window.

 

5. Do a File, Save As, Save as type (*.txt). This will give you a text file on your hard drive.

 

6. From a browser (My Computer) window, drag the txt file onto the BMGPX icon. BMGPX will automatically run and create a GPX file in the same folder.

 

7. Launch GSAK and create a new database (if you want to keep caches and benchmarks separate) by clicking on Database, New.

 

8. Upload the GPX file into GSAK and start reviewing benchmarks!

 

If you want all the benchmarks in a given county, you may substitute steps 3-5 above by going to Holocene's data file webpage and downloading the archived (but updated reasonably often) data kept there. You'll need to unzip the file before running it through BMGPX.

 

I compared the data for Anchorage Borough from Holocene's website against the download I got from the NGS website and Holocene's file had nearly 400 more records! I must not have set the search criteria properly on the NGS site. For now, I'm using Holocene's files.

 

Happy hunting!

Edited by Ladybug Kids

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Now that I've got the process worked out in another thread in the GeocacheAlaska! forums, here's the step by step process of downloading benchmark data sheets that worked for me (many thanks to NorthWes for the nudges in the right direction).

 

Whoah, I'm gonna have to try this in a couple hours, thanks.

 

But also, it doesn't seem that this doesn't grab the log entries from other geocachers, and that's ultimately what I'm really after. Is that possible?

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However, none of that will get you the Geocaching logs.

 

If you are mostly interested in GPS co-ordinates for scaled marks, they can be entered into GSAK by a tedious and hit-or-miss process.

 

Download, convert, and load the marks of your choice into GSAK.

 

You can get all the marks in individual counties by state HERE.

 

You now make the assumption that most Geocachers who care enough to record correct co-ordinates are also reporting to the NGS...if you use the NGSGPX program to convert the NGS .dat files to .gpx files, you can have it convert the 'recovery notes' on the datasheets to regular-looking logs in GSAK.

 

Then, in GSAK, filter for the 'word' GEOCAC in the logs. This will give you all the marks which have logs from Geocachers.

 

Then open them in split-screen view to see if the recoverist has posted GPS co-ordinates, and if they have, cut and paste them into the 'corrected cordinates' dialog in GSAK.

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However, none of that will get you the Geocaching logs.

 

If you are mostly interested in GPS co-ordinates for scaled marks, they can be entered into GSAK by a tedious and hit-or-miss process.

 

Download, convert, and load the marks of your choice into GSAK.

 

You can get all the marks in individual counties by state HERE.

 

You now make the assumption that most Geocachers who care enough to record correct co-ordinates are also reporting to the NGS...if you use the NGSGPX program to convert the NGS .dat files to .gpx files, you can have it convert the 'recovery notes' on the datasheets to regular-looking logs in GSAK.

 

Then, in GSAK, filter for the 'word' GEOCAC in the logs. This will give you all the marks which have logs from Geocachers.

 

Then open them in split-screen view to see if the recoverist has posted GPS co-ordinates, and if they have, cut and paste them into the 'corrected cordinates' dialog in GSAK.

 

Hmm, I think that's the best I'm gonna get. Thanks, I'll try this out.

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However, none of that will get you the Geocaching logs.

 

For what it's worth... I haven't found the Geocaching logs to be very helpful for benchmarks. We have a LOT of benchmarks around here that are being logged even though they were destroyed years ago... people are logging the wrong mark and don't know it.

 

We have a few locals posting logs on Geocaching.com who are very reliable (Hi Paul!) but they also post to the NGS database when it is appropriate.

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Question -

 

I have downloaded and converted a county file from the gummint. They show on GSAK and load onto my PN-40. But, they all seem to be 20-30 feet SE of where they really are. I assume this is a datum problem, how do I correct it? I would prefer to correct it somewhere prior to the PN-40, if possible.

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Question -

 

I have downloaded and converted a county file from the gummint. They show on GSAK and load onto my PN-40. But, they all seem to be 20-30 feet SE of where they really are. I assume this is a datum problem, how do I correct it? I would prefer to correct it somewhere prior to the PN-40, if possible.

20-30 feet isn't too bad if the coordinates are scaled ... Typically a vertical control will have a very accurate elevation and not too accurate (SCALED) horizontal coordinates. A horizontal control will be the opposite - its horizontal location will be very accurate (ADJUSTED). On the GC.com pages for the marks there is a line that says either:

Altitude is SCALED and location is ADJUSTED or

Altitude is ADJUSTED and location is SCALED.

 

On the NGS datasheets it is near the top:

FV0975 ***********************************************************************
FV0975  DESIGNATION -  S 259
FV0975  PID		 -  FV0975
FV0975  STATE/COUNTY-  CA/SAN LUIS OBISPO
FV0975  USGS QUAD   -  CAMBRIA (1979)
FV0975
FV0975						 *CURRENT SURVEY CONTROL
FV0975  ___________________________________________________________________
FV0975* NAD 83(1986)-  35 34 16.	 (N)	121 06 44.	 (W)	 SCALED
FV0975* NAVD 88	 -		11.282  (meters)	  37.01   (feet)  ADJUSTED
FV0975  ___________________________________________________________________

 

When you find the actual coordinates of a scaled mark you can enter the Corrected Coordinates in GSAK.

 

6-10 meters isn't necessarily bad even for an adjusted mark - my GPS accuracy is stated as something like 10 meters.

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