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Should Groundspeak file to become an approved agency with the NGS


raouljan
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I don't think that Groundspeak as a whole should be certified or verified or whatever, as an approved agency.

 

If there was a 100% foolproof way of verifying the data, I'd think it'd be something to consider - but with the amount of geocachers and benchmark hunters registered with the site, it'd be quite a task to try to validate all info.

 

Besides, individuals that submit verifiable information get credit anyway - without having to be a member of any verified organization. I'm not sure what the benefit would be of being glommed in as Groundspeak Benchmark Hunters or something. icon_smile.gif

 

So, I will vote "no" when it lets me... although for other reasons than you've included in your two "no" responses. icon_wink.gif

 

- Toe.

 

--==< Rubbertoe's Webcam, Photo Albums, and Homepage >==--

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I don't think that Groundspeak as a whole should be certified or verified or whatever, as an approved agency.

 

If there was a 100% foolproof way of verifying the data, I'd think it'd be something to consider - but with the amount of geocachers and benchmark hunters registered with the site, it'd be quite a task to try to validate all info.

 

Besides, individuals that submit verifiable information get credit anyway - without having to be a member of any verified organization. I'm not sure what the benefit would be of being glommed in as Groundspeak Benchmark Hunters or something. icon_smile.gif

 

So, I will vote "no" when it lets me... although for other reasons than you've included in your two "no" responses. icon_wink.gif

 

- Toe.

 

--==< Rubbertoe's Webcam, Photo Albums, and Homepage >==--

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The first choice in the poll question is "Yes - But we should establish protocols to insure that the data is accurate."

 

I firmly agree with this, but, it needs to be noted, that these protocols are already in place. The State Licensing Board of Engineers & Surveyors defines the beginnings of those protocols. The professionals in the surveying profession maintain them. It should also be noted that practicing surveying without a license is illegal.

 

In order for Groundspeak to become an approved agency, the issue of liability should be addressed. Who would be willing to take the liability for any "surveying" that is done by any members of the Groundspeak forum or the Geocache community. I seriously doubt that the NGS will take that on.

 

We need to remember that Geocaching is a game and Benchmark hunting is just another enjoyable aspect of it. A handheld GPS unit does not make a person a surveyor any more than a first-aid kit makes a person a doctor.

 

Keep on Caching!

- Kewaneh

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... based upon what we do as part of locating benchmarks, I am not sure what part of the definition of surveying we would be violating.

 

I am reasonably certain that the definition of surveying does not fall under the UCTA, which means that it is eithar a federal law defining it, or each individual state has different regulations. Since you indicate that it requires a state licence, I would tend to suspect the latter.

 

In any case, either what we are doing would not qualify as surveying, or geocaching would also be illegal under the laws that define benchmark hunting as illegal.

 

Note that there are other laws such as public safety, private property trespassing, and workspace hazards that may come into play.

 

I may be wrong, but my understanding of surveying is that so long as we are not attempting to define legal boundries for private or public land, or map out right of ways, etc., we are not "surveying" in the legal sense of the word.

 

As I say, I accept that I may be wrong.

 

-rusty

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So, I need a license to locate a brass disk embedded in concrete and take a picture of it?

 

Perhaps I can't see the point without my surveyor glasses on. We're not placing or replacing the buggers, just seeing if they are still there since they were reported found/missing x years ago. As survey tech indicated, you don't report a benchmark destroyed unless you actually see the remains. I think any layman can see of something has been destroyed or not.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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I've stated my reasons before, but I'll state them again.

 

I have submitted several official recovery reports to the NGS. The criteria I use when considering reporting to the NGS are very strict. The standards for posting a log here are relaxed in comparison. If I looked for a few minutes and didn't find a mark, that's a not found, but I certainly don't want that forwarded to the NGS. If Groundspeak starts forwarding logs to the NGS, I'll never log another benchmark again.

 

Besides, as RubberToe noted, individuals can submit to the database and get credit.

 

rdw

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The question is not "should Groundspeak forward reports to NGS"

 

The question is not "should you file reports with NGS"

 

The question is

"Should Groundspeak file to become an approved agency with the NGS?"

 

>Personally Responsible for the Recovery of .00176% of the Benchmark Database!<

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quote:
Originally posted by rdw:

The standards for posting a log here are relaxed in comparison.


 

Obviously. We're not in a relationship with the NGS, so the logging capabilities we currently have do not mirror the guidelines set forth by the NGS.

 

As Raouljan indicated, the question is whether we should register Groundspeak (or Geocaching) as a name which you would use when reporting a benchmark, instead of as an individual, just like the Power Squadron does.

 

I would say, since Groundspeak is a company and not an organization, Groundspeak would not be the right "Organization" name to use. If we were to have a group to report under, we'd have to find another name like "Benchmarkseekers" or something (I'm not very creative today).

 

If NGS approached us and said they'd like to use our community to send them changelogs of finds, I'd be well open to the idea. I may even approach them once I can finish some immediate issues. But this would be something that the NGS would agree upon with full knowledge of our organization finding these benchmarks, and according to whatever regulations they have for reporting found/missing benchmarks.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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Folks...

Looks like we are running about 52% in favor of the idea.

 

I am off on a Cache-hunt vacation and will be out internet range for about a week. I think by that time the poll will pretty much have run its course.

 

An interesting stat on the voting is that we picked up a vote for every 10 views.

 

>Personally Responsible for the Recovery of .00217% of the Benchmark Database!<--watch this number!

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Since the NGS allows an individual to submit a report on a PID and puts their report in the database with their initials, what is the advantage of being represented by an 'approved agency'?

 

I haven't yet put any individual reports to NGS, but I see that some geocachers like doing it, and enjoy seeing their initials there.

 

There is a sort of default equality here. If I was a surveyor in the field and having trouble finding a station, and saw an individual's report on how the station could be found from landmarks, I'd go ahead and read it, figuring it just might help me find the station.

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For many people it would make no difference whether GeoCaching became an approved agency for filing reports to NGS. They will continue to file such reports regardless of whether GeoCaching is approved or not.

 

Likewise there are many GeoCaching members who are not one bit concerned about whether their benchmark finds ever get back to the NGS. They will conginue to file reports on the GeoCaching Benchmarks pages.

 

There are some people who are interested in filing reports to the NGS (note that as I understand it, filing a find on the GeoCaching Benchmarks database will not automatically file a find to the NGS) and want to feel that they are part of a group of people who are recognized as having an interest in Physical Geography.

 

At the moment, GeoCaching.com or any name related to GeoCaching.com is not recognized as an approved agency for filing reports to the NGS, meaning that any of us who are not part of some other agency pretty much have to file as an individual. There is nothing wrong with this, and it should not be frowned upon, as it does indicate that the person has an interest in the subject.

 

The sense of community that we have in the forums here, as well as amoungst Geocachers in general would be nice to have recognized by others. That is realy about the only reason to consider having GeoCaching as an approved agency.

 

I happen to think that is a sufficient reason. Even if I never file a report to the NGS. The fact that GeoCaching is an organization that the NGS recognizes, would give me an additional sense of pride. I don't "need" this, but I find it an attractive idea.

 

You may have your own reasons one way or another. These are just mine.

 

-Rusty

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quote:
Originally posted by Team 5-oh!:

Because of things like...

Folks logging them found and not actually finding them.


 

I think your reasoning is flawed. In both cases it was requested whether it would be ok to log them as a find on Geocaching.com, not the NGS.

 

In the case of registering with the NGS there are strict guidelines for reporting them. I doubt folks would abuse that privelege.

 

I'll restate that I don't believe "Groundspeak" should be the approved agency, since ultimately the Groundspeak name is a company. If individuals want to report as a group, we should decide what that group name should be, like "Geocachers North America" or something to that effect.

 

Regardless of what your opinion is about people being careless about their reporting methods, people are reporting their recoveries to the NGS already. We're just deciding whether to have a group name instead of an individual one when reporting a found/destroyed mark. Ultimately our reliability will be in how our reporting looks as a whole.

 

Jeremy

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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We're not perfect and we'll make a mistake or two. Mistakes can be ammended or corrected and the NGS would know this in advance.

 

It would be a great way to get some recognition on the federal level and by the public, since after all, it is a public service. Look that the benchmarks already found and think about the time, effort and expense that (WE) have put into locating them.

 

I think it's foolish and a terrible waste of human and financial resources not to report them, and I'll continue to proudly report each and every one I find.

 

My vote is yes.

 

~Honest Value Never Fails~

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OK folks....

 

17 votes say yes...

15 votes say no....

 

Sounds like we are pretty well split down the line.

 

Tell ya what...

If Jeremy can find the time to file, and If the folks approve us... half of us can use the approved agency code and the other half can still file as INDV or not at all

 

>Personally Responsible for the Recovery of .00217% of the Benchmark Database!<--watch this number!

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