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Thanks for the tip!


It looks like a professionally produced piece, with assistance from NGS. So who no mention of how to log your finds (GC, NGS, Waymarking)? I also thought it was cute that each of the marks they searched for was either a plaque or marked by a witness post. This benchmarking thing looks super-easy! Also, there was no need tp read (or download) a Datasheet, and thus no need to measure anything.


I see an opening for a few Forum videos! (Maybe I need to ask Santa for a video camera!)


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It's a very nice job. I just wish NGS would have been included. While USGS has set many marks, they do not maintain the national database of control that the geocachers use and regrettably, only a very small portion of the marks they did set were ever submitted to NGS/Coast & Geodetic Survey for inclusion in the national reference frame. They could have easily contacted the NGS California state geodetic advisor Marti Ikehara in Sacramento who has an extensive background in the historical and contemporary applications of these marks.

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The main reaction I had to this video was, "%$@@%&, how did I miss the 2009 USGS Menlo Park open house???!!!" ;) Each USGS regional office holds one every three years, and I'm usually on top of the situation. I'm very annoyed with myself!! :lol:


Anyway...it doesn't look like USGS had anything to do with this video other than David (geocaching nickname "Nazgul") and Jon briefly interviewing a USGS person during the open house. And they apparently coordinated their Rancho San Antonio visit with an MROSD ranger. Otherwise, as near as I can tell, they were just doing it themselves. None of the marks they visited were placed by USGS.


For the record, here's what I spotted in the video:


00:11 GU4219 (brief glimpse)

00:12 Coordinates for HS5276, but judging from the later video at 2:53, it must be the one they didn't find.

00:29 HS5215 in the Santa Cruz Mountains (brief glimpse; an NGS disk, btw)

00:33 El Palo Alto (brief glimpse)

01:15 AA1871 in Rancho San Antonio park

01:27 GU4219 in greater downtown Corralitos

02:44 HS5215 in more detail

02:53 Unsuccessful search for HS5276

03:30 HT3264 El Palo Alto (near downtown Palo Alto)


Although Jon was talking about El Palo Alto (the tree) itself, he was standing near a plaque, so some people viewing the video may think that that the plaque is the benchmark. BTW, I'm the most recent person to have logged HT3264 with NGS. There's also a metal benchmark just across the railroad bridge next to the tracks (HT1333).


I am surprised that David didn't put in a plug for Geocaching.com.


I checked Vehix's website but couldn't find the GeoCar series of videos. Nothing else on YouTube, either. Maybe they planned to make it a series but haven't done any others yet. Too bad, as this was a very nice start.



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Those who watched the video all the way through have a lot of patience! I quit after their first attempted mark--and what a whimpy attempt it was. No probe. No metal detector. Just pull the grass away and if you don't see it, it's a not found?


Did anyone notice if they ever, at some point in the video, explained how to find the data sheets?


By the way, I think when they held up the board with benchmarks mounted on it (in one of the first scenes), they should have explained that these were disks which were "retired". The goal is not to go out collecting them! I can see the "geocaching-type" of log now: "Took KUDZU, left DEAD DOG.") :angry:


Okay, so it's not an ideal video, but it's a start. Which brings us to pgrig's idea: How about using YouTube to show how to do it correctly? But rather than doing an entire hunt in a single video, we could begin with "Going on-line to identify your targets". Next is "Helpful Tools".


Then, we could have a video which shows the arrival on the scene and the steps one takes. For our script writers (like ArtMan, for whom writing and production are areas of expertise), I recommend covering these points:


*Find a safe parking place/approach. (Insert disclaimer about railroad tracks.)


*Begin by looking at your compass and checking your surroundings.


*Try to spot referenced objects.


*If using a GPS unit, it can take you close to the indicated spot. (Insert disclaimer about Scaled Coordinates)


Before writing off a mark as "Not Found", pause and think about the situation. A few tips:


*If the description is more than a few years old, picture the scene as it might have appeared at the time of the last recovery, or when the mark was set. (Where was the road in 1972, and did it have this many lanes?)


*Although the last note says the mark is "flush with the ground", probe a bit. Disks often get covered by grass or dirt.


*If you are beside a paved road, look carefully along the edge. There might be a faded arrow pointing to the disk.


*Take one more look at the references in the description. Buildings may have an addition or new siding. Utility poles get replaced--sometimes near the original, and sometimes not. The 16-inch tree may be gone, but can you see the stump?


Finally, whether "found" or "not found", make some notes and take some photos which will help the next benchmark hunter. And then, off to the next target!!



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It was typical TV fare - show snippets of everything and make it look trivial but exciting, and don't show the boring stuff you need to know to do it right. That is the case whether it is Norm's furniture building, bass fishing, car racing, lumberjack contests, or benchmark hunting.

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Did anyone notice if they ever, at some point in the video, explained how to find the data sheets?

No, they just mentioned that the information about the benchmarks was in their PDA.


It's possible that, if this video ends up on Vehix's website as intended (possibly under the currently non-functioning link "Vehix Adventures"?), it will be accompanied by some textual information. Or maybe Elastic Lab ended up posting this one to YouTube because Vehix decided not to use it. Perhaps some folks here would be interested in working with Abaq.us or Elastic Lab to add some supplementary text (e.g. a pointer to www.geocaching.com/mark), either by re-editing the closing credits to add text there, or by ensuring that further information is included wherever the video is distributed. I realize that this wouldn't address the additional topics that have been suggested in this thread, but it would at least give viewers of the video a starting point for getting information.



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Yeah, I noticed the video was a little light on the info. Like first off, how am I getting the info onto my PDA and GPS? It does appear to be a pretty good quality (professionally done) video that they put some effort into, despite the lack of info. I agree with Paul, definitely needed to include the "Don't go out and collect them" info.

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