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TillaMurphs

Its time

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Originally we wanted to get at least a year of experience and 100 finds before we attempted to submit to the NGS. It has now been a year-and-a-half and we have searched for more than 200 marks/stations. Even though we still have a lot to learn we figure it might be OK to submit some finds.

 

1) What suggestions can you give us for submitting to NGS?

 

2) We would like to start off by picking a few of our finds for submission. What parameters should we use to determine which finds would be good candidates for submitting?

 

Thanks,

 

The TillaMurphs

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Highest priority: Ones that changed condition since the last recovery report, ones you are updating significant information in the to-reach, and ones found that haven't been reported for decades.

 

That's a good place to start, but many more marks are reportable than that.

 

If you don't have anything to say that wasn't in the last report logged, then I think their rule is absolutely not less than 1 year, but I try to restrict myself to 5-8 years minimum if I'm not adding anything except a new date.

 

Try to imitate the style that you have become accustomed to reading in the official logs. Be sure and use the date you saw it, not the date you are sending in the report.

 

If you are reporting Not Found, then give a quick summary of what you did to look for it and why it might be gone. "Area appears regraded for wider road." "Described location is now a paved parking lot." "None of reference objects found to measure from" "Not found at measured location using probe and metal detector."

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TillaMurphs -

 

In starting to log at the NGS, I suggest logging only the ones you found, not the ones you didn't find, at least at first.

 

If you want to see how it will look before you submit, copy all the existing history and add your log in all-caps at the end of it. Perhaps something about your intended report will appear to you to fix in that context.

 

Try to use NGS database 'survey-speak' when writing logs for the NGS, as Bill93 suggests.

 

Before logging write a list of stuff to remember, while logging, like:

change all measurements to feet-and-tenths

enter your coordinates for all bench marks

put information in the correct order - general-area to close-by

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After logging one mark, and using the browser back button to go back to the form to start another mark, be sure to look at every entry so nothing old carries over to another report. I think many of us have made that mistake, either by not changing from NF to Good, not changing the date recovered, or leaving some remark in the text box that should have been deleted.

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I have my points in a master Excel file. Using a split screen I can copy/paste the PID and HH2 to avoid typos, and then check the county and designation when that screen come up.

 

If the Lat/Long error columns in Excel show a greater than six second error I'll generally put that one on hold, submit a batch to Dave Doyle and do the recoveries at a latter time - that way your HH2 exactly matches the DATASHEET :lol: .

 

After submitting I fill in today's date in another column to help keep my place.

 

The HOME and END keys make it easy to scroll if you have several in a row were nothing changes.

 

kayakbird

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Hi TillaMurphs--

 

1. Having read many of your excellent descriptions on GC.com, I'd say first of all that it's way overdue for you to be sending many of these off to NGS! I'd say #51 rather than #200 would have been a good place to start. :lol:

 

2. As I recall, you're very good at picking out new references (like roads, trees, house corners) to supplement/replace those that have been lost or morphed into uselessness over time. I think that these improved references are one of the more useful parts of my NGS reports.

 

3. I'm more careful about describing my measurement techniques on NGS posts (type of device; st. line or slope, etc.), and since I now usually give my distances to the nearest tenth of a foot, I usually preface them with "about," as in "about 16.4 ft from a metal fencepost." [Like I don''t use a steel tape under tension. :lol: ]

 

4. If I have a station with RMs, I always report the status of those (F/NF, hunted or not, etc.) along with that of the main station.

 

5. If my photos are particularly helpful in finding the marks, I often say, "See photos at geocaching.com."

 

-Paul

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After logging one mark, and using the browser back button to go back to the form to start another mark, be sure to look at every entry so nothing old carries over to another report. I think many of us have made that mistake, either by not changing from NF to Good, not changing the date recovered, or leaving some remark in the text box that should have been deleted.

 

+1, Guilty as charged :lol:

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5. If my photos are particularly helpful in finding the marks, I often say, "See photos at geocaching.com."

Wouldn't it be better to just send the photos to Deb? I worry about referencing some other website (especially a commercial one vs. a government site) that might change or even not be around a couple of decades from now.

 

Patty

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5. If my photos are particularly helpful in finding the marks, I often say, "See photos at geocaching.com."

Wouldn't it be better to just send the photos to Deb? I worry about referencing some other website (especially a commercial one vs. a government site) that might change or even not be around a couple of decades from now.

 

Patty

 

Patty makes a good point, but I have never seen Deb do anything with photos...other than mark stations destroyed.

 

I don't remember who was doing it, but wasn't there a thread not so long ago about some official-type person at NGS transporting GC.com photos to the NGS site?

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5. If my photos are particularly helpful in finding the marks, I often say, "See photos at geocaching.com."

Wouldn't it be better to just send the photos to Deb? I worry about referencing some other website (especially a commercial one vs. a government site) that might change or even not be around a couple of decades from now.

 

Patty

 

Patty makes a good point, but I have never seen Deb do anything with photos...other than mark stations destroyed.

 

I don't remember who was doing it, but wasn't there a thread not so long ago about some official-type person at NGS transporting GC.com photos to the NGS site?

 

I, too, feel that references to other sites would not be kosher. (Didn't someone here find a reference to a complete URL at geocaching.com of a picture in a recovery? Or did I find that? Hmm.)

 

Anyways, for the pictures, DaveD, when he's not doing important "Webinars with Audio Problems" online scours new logs posted here and will import the pictures. He had also told me to feel free sending them to him or deb on a CD and they will get to posting them when they have time.

 

Datasheets that have pictures linked will have the line:

 BK1612.Photographs are available for this station.

Where 'photographs' is a link, like:

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/get_image....&PID=BK1612

 

I believe that Dave also said that while on the hunt for pictures, if you have HH coords, he'll update the sheet with those, if the accuracy is better than is already on the sheet.

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Regarding photo references, I guess I'll keep doing just what I have been doing. If GC.com goes down, then readers of my NGS reports won't see the images. If GC.com stays up, then they'll be better off, and will be able to see my photos that often enable them to "walk up to the mark." If NGS wants to program a gadget that harvests the images off GC.com and somehow makes them available thru NOAA, then fine.

 

By the way, by posting an image on GC.com, do I give up my copyright in that work? I'd hate that.

 

-Paul

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In discussions with Deb in 2009, she expressed a preference that there to be no cross-references to non-NGS websites. (At the time this came up, she was in the process of deleting a batch of previously-submitted reports.)

 

I'll grant that reprocessing our photos to NGS spec's is labor-intensive. That's one reason I seldom do it. The other reason is that in the majority of cases, our updated written descriptions should be adequate. But, for those times when "a picture is worth a thousand words", the appropriate action appears to be submitting them to Deb.

 

 

-PFF-

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On the pictures topic - I don’t reference gc.com in the Description because I figure that when someone is looking at the Datasheet and sees a recovery by GEOCAC they’ll automatically go to gc.com to see if any pictures are available.

 

They may just go there even if they don’t see GEOCAC in the Datasheet.

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Patty makes a good point, but I have never seen Deb do anything with photos...other than mark stations destroyed.

 

I don't remember who was doing it, but wasn't there a thread not so long ago about some official-type person at NGS transporting GC.com photos to the NGS site?

A bunch of datasheets now have photos attached to them. I don't know whether someone at NGS has been taking them from Gc.com (I sure hope not, unless he/she has the permission of the photographer), but as FX mentioned, people have also been submitting photos to Deb and Dave, so I don't think it's fair to say that Deb hasn't done anything with the photos. Last I saw, the submission form hadn't been updated with an "upload photo" option, so I think we still have to send them to one of those folks directly.

 

As others have mentioned, I don't submit photos unless I feel that my written description needs further explanation that can only be provided with a photo. But if I do, I send them to Deb. I would never put a link to Gc.com in an NGS recovery report.

 

Patty

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Dear Patty--

 

Since I waved the flag of GC.com photo references in NGS reports and then watched as it took a couple of rounds of buckshot :P , I thought I'd respond once more.

 

I repeat that I can see many possible advantages, and very little harm, in pointing readers of my NGS reports to my photos at GC.com.

 

By the way, I feel strongly that these photos are, in almost all cases, a valuable aid to recovery of the marks I visit. I would guess that in 90% of my recoveries there are aspects that gain significantly from the addition of photo evidence. Perhaps this is true because my average recovery hasn't been logged in over 30 years, but on balance I guess that I'd adhere to the old standard that "a picture is worth a thousand words." Truth be told, I'd prefer to keep my written reports shorter and let my images do a lot more of the talking. :ph34r:

 

I myself have never come across a photo reference in a Datasheet, but I guess others have seen these. Fine and dandy. But you would think that if NGS wanted to make use of our photo resources, they'd provide a simple, routine, reliable way of receiving photo reports, as does GC.com.

 

I believe that we at GC.com do almost all of the recovery work now being done for marks in the NGS database (or the GC version of it), so you'd think that NGS might really benefit from coming up with a way of acquiring, reviewing, and publishing our photos that economizes on their time and ours. Until then, simple references in our NGS reports would seem to be an inexpensive and potentially beneficial device.

 

-Paul

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Thank you all for the great information.

 

Now that I have learned a bit, I hope it is OK if I add a couple more questions:

 

3) When you submit, do you submit as GEOCAC or INDIV?

 

4) Let’s say we have a mark that we would really like to submit that we found a year ago (no one has recovered it for decades). Is it OK to submit that now (a year later) as long as the “date of recovery” is entered as the date we actually found it? Or, is it best to only submit marks we have recently found?

 

5) Is THIS only/best place to submit?

 

Thanks!

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3) I think most people on this forum use GEOCAC

4) OK. If it has been a while, be sure you check for a more recent recovery before you post yours.

5) That's the one I use.

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I always submit photos to Deb when I log my recoveries. They tried attaching them to the data sheets, but there was some glitch in the system, and many of them had streaks. I haven't seen any attached recently.

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I myself have never come across a photo reference in a Datasheet, but I guess others have seen these. Fine and dandy. But you would think that if NGS wanted to make use of our photo resources, they'd provide a simple, routine, reliable way of receiving photo reports, as does GC.com.

They have been talking for a few years about adding that capability to the recovery forms, but it hasn't happened yet.

 

Patty

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They have been talking for a few years about adding that capability to the recovery forms, but it hasn't happened yet.

Patty

Speaking from the hip, I believe it probably won't happen, since all their time is going into OPUS now, making that the primary use for surveyors and such.

 

I HOPE I'm wrong, since it'd be nice to upload images with the recovery log, but seeing the talk that Dave D did on OPUS a while back, it sounds like everything's being pushed that way. :/

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3) When you submit, do you submit as GEOCAC or INDIV?

 

I use GEOCAC there are a few that do INDIV that I am aware of. It is whatever you prefer.

 

4) Let’s say we have a mark that we would really like to submit that we found a year ago (no one has recovered it for decades). Is it OK to submit that now (a year later) as long as the “date of recovery” is entered as the date we actually found it? Or, is it best to only submit marks we have recently found?

 

There was a thread a while back that I think wound up with the consensus that if they were over 6 months they shouldn't be submitted, thats what my rememberer is telling me anyhow.

 

As for me, When I started reporting to NGS, I submitted some from a few months prior but actually revisited other marks so I could make a "proper" and up to date recovery report. If it truly was a rarely visited location with very minimal chance of disturbance I might feel OK about going back a year but in the city were change can happen overnight I wouldn't do it personally.

 

5) Is THIS only/best place to submit?

 

Thanks!

 

That's the only one I know of.

 

One thing to remember if you are a fan of Holoscenes stats page you need to be consistent with your initials or your recoveries will not be reflected properly. I made this mistake and reported using AS and ADS and some of my recoveries wound up in the unidentified section.

I didn't see your name on his list but he does include users who do not report if they request it. I think the stats come from reports that are made using the GEOCAC identifier so this may also decide you on whether to report as an INDIV or not depnding on your preferences.

 

If you are not familiar with Holoscenes be sure to check out some of his other pages. I really enjoy the Notable Recoveries and Extreme Stations page.

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I would not hesitate to post a properly dated backlog recovery report.

The mark may or may not be currently in place, but you are reporting that it was in place on a certain date in the past.

Please make all your reports as GEOCAC...you will make all of us look good.

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I ran across this in SPECIAL PUBLICATION #226 1941. We must be the others they were talking about - how did they know all those years ago :) .

4311369955_456e92de77_o.jpg

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4311369955_456e92de77_o.jpg

A Public Service, huh? Hmmm, never exactly dawned on me in those exact terms.... I wonder if I could count my benchmark hunting hours in my monthly required Public Service / Community Service hours..... Oh, wait, I'm not supposed to talk about that... :D:)

 

But maybe......

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Regarding photo references, I guess I'll keep doing just what I have been doing.

 

By the way, by posting an image on GC.com, do I give up my copyright in that work? I'd hate that.

 

-Paul

 

Paul,

 

No, you do not give up your copyright to a photo by posting it. You still own the rights to any work you have done. However, by posting it, you ARE making it readily available, and easy to use. Given what we do and the reason for doing it, it would seem to me that the whole reason for posting photos is to aid others in locating the station.

 

If someone at the NGS pulled photos from gc.com and included them in NGS datasheets, personally I'd be honored. They're a government agency, and aren't profiting from the use--just widening the scope of the use expected when they were posted. If professionals can use my photos instead of just us amateurs, I'm all for it. Actually, I submit photos of all my recoveries to Deb anyway. I don't know if that would fall under "fair use" or not, or if it would be technically a copyright violation, and I'm certainly not going to go research it. Given who is using it (NGS) and why (education and public service) I wouldn't be worried about it. If they wanted to take one of my photos and start selling commemorative prints, then I might contact them to work out a deal. ;)

 

I know at least two of my photos has made it into a datasheet link: TT7765, set by the U.S. Lake Survey back in 1869, and RJ0383, another USLS mark from the early 1900s. These are the only two I know of...seems like the ones making it in first are the more "interesting" stations.

 

I've never referenced gc.com in my logs, but it's good to know that the NGS prefers that we don't.

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(First off - thanks to anyone who is still reading this thread!)

 

- Thank you to all that have answered! With your well considered advice we have made a submission and we appreciate the help.

 

- A couple more questions

 

6) What should be done about distance units from nearby objects in the submissions? - feet or meters or both or??

 

7) For listing directions from nearby objects (trees, etc) is it OK to use 1/32nd compass points (such as “northeast by north”)? We typically record compass directions to the above and then we hope they come out to quarter or 1/8th points but invariably they often come out to exactly a 1/32 point and we are reluctant to round down to a 1/16th point.

 

8) Is there an NGS document that would answer questions like the above?

 

And, regarding photos in the datasheets, we have had our photos used inside about 50 updated datasheets and we are ecstatic about that. We gladly and humbly give our permission for our photos to be used by the NGS – we are honored.

 

Thanks again.

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