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Should Benchmarker’s be Listed as a find in some way?

Mossy Oak
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I feel that this should be counted. What is the different finding a locationless or a virtual cache, were there is no container filled with McD toys or Where’s George Money. We’re still use a GPS or compass to find then as any other cache. I thing it is a nice treat being able to have access to find these markers, it’s quite a challenge in some cases finding then after many years. In addition, I thing most people would like to be recognized finding these markers. Please comments; I would be interested hearing what people think.


My poll questions are: icon_razz.gif

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a way to tell if a benchmark has been found on the search page. I prefer to find marks that haven't been found yet and as it is I have to go to each page to see if they've been found or not.


I know I'm just lazy...



Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

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Benchmark finds should definately have thier own category and be tracked along with cache finds.

Id like to see a place for the Benchmark Logs to show up on the My Cache Page also..

That way you can go back and paruse your own finds.

Otherwise you have no good way of going back to find your Benchmark Logs.

Otherwise this is a GREAT new addition to the site as a whole..

I for one will have alot of fun with it..





If I can't Fix it, It's Definately Broke.

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Originally posted by birdwatcher:

I say count the benchmarks. Some of them are harder to find than most caches.


NO! Not so long as we allow buildings and large structures to count as a find. There is NO find in photographing such landmarks. The essence of geocaching is to FIND a small object using the gps receiver as prime instrument, not a city street map looking for a cathedral. A test of a FIND should be, "Could it have been found in a deliberate search without the gpsr?" If we restrict a find to disc markers, stakes, or other small items that actually involve a search, then go ahead and count the find, but in a separate category.


I love the search for disc markers but I'm not impressed with someone's acumen when they can spot a cathedral dome upon entering the city limits.

....patrick & shirley


patrick & shirley

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Is it really that much easier to spot a cathedral dome than it is to spot an 8-foot circular concrete photo target? (It's the little white dot at the east corner of the parking lot.)


Personally, I'd find a nice, well-taken picture of the Lincoln Tower to be much more interesting than a close-up of that 8-foot concrete photo target. And isn't sharing experiences and pictures what this is all about, really?



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I think these are great things to find and SHOULD be logged. It takes work to find these things, and some are not there when you get there, due to new construction, periodic maintenance, neglect, whatever.


The advantage is they don't require introducing anything into the environment, yet retain the challenge of the search. The search is enhanced because the accuracy of marking the location was much less back in the 1940s or 1950s or even earlier when some of these were established. Finding them is like going back in history. Some are still there, silent sentinels to the march of time. Finding them has its own rewards and can certainly benefit society, especially if the finders submit a report. On my cache for Pennsylvania, I allow every find to be logged, as long as it is a unique find and in the State.


So many caches, so little time! The forest awaits!

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Originally posted by patw:

...The essence of geocaching is to FIND a small object using the gps receiver as prime instrument, not a city street map looking for a cathedral...

patrick & shirley


However, as Jeremy has stated in other threads, benchmarking IS NOT geocaching! The two are completely independent games. The rules for one do not necessarily apply to the other.


Yes, benchmarks should (and probably eventually will) be counted in a completely different category.



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I completely agree with what Buck8Point said. I'd like to be able to keep track of which marks I've found without having to remember the number or designation. I also like the idea of having them show up as having been found on the search result page.


Overall though, the addition of benchmarks was a great idea. I've had fun with those that I've already found, and have plans for even more.

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You may want to begin to distinguish between the different types of markers you are searching for, rather than simply referring to them all as "benchmarks", which is really a misnomer. You could easily develop a scoring system, ranking them as follows for example:

First Order Triangulation Station - 100 points

Second Order Triangulation Station - 80 points

Third Order Triangulation Station - 60 points

Azimuth Mark - 50 points

Reference Mark - 40 points

Benchmark - 25 points

Intersection Station - 10 points



Intersection Stations are always objects, not markers.

Benchmarks are used for elevation only, not location, and most carry only approximate coordinates, so trying to use GPS to find them will often prove futile, leading you away from the location given in the description.

All Triangulation Stations have highly precise coordinates, even the oldest ones.

You could also factor the age of the marker into your scoring system. The oldest brass caps date from the first decade of the last century and these are very rare.

Also consider how remote the marker is and how difficult it is to reach, many are on the highest mountain peaks.

Keep in mind there are many other types of state, county and local markers also, which should be valued accordingly.

In the Public Land States (outside the 13 Colonial States, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas) you will also find section corner markers every quarter mile, which are often brass caps as well.


These are just some ideas for you, the players, to consider. The bottom line is that there is ample opportunity for you to participate, either in a casual way or a competitive way, as you choose.

My only personal interest in this matter is to encourage everyone to appreciate and understand the importance of these markers to both our history and our economy, and request that all participants treat them with the respect they deserve.

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Thanks for the information Survey Tech.

I had been wondering about the distinctions of the different types of markers.

Is there anywhere online we can read up on the different types of markers, what they represent and how they are used?

Id like to know more about what to look for when I find a certain type of marker.

I have logged a few so far but I'm not sure if they are the only marker at that particular site or are there more there I need to find also.

Thanks in advance for the great info.





If I can't Fix it, It's Definately Broke.

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I'm not aware of any better resources online than those offered by NGS, USGS, USFS, BLM, COE, NOAA, etc., which I'm sure you have already looked at. There are countless books on the subject, but most are very dry and technical, and being scientific, also quite expensive. Do a search of the various online book sites for "land surveying", "cadastral surveying", "geodetic surveying", "topographic mapping" or "geodesy". Look for books that focus more on the history of the work, rather than the manuals on current techniques. If you have any friends or relatives in Civil Engineering or Land Surveying they can probably steer you toward good local sources of information specific to your area. You may also contact your state's Board of Registration for Engineers and Surveyors, which may be able to arrange for a speaker to address your group. For commercial reasons, the administators of this site have banned me from mentioning again the web site I use for information, but you may look at my earlier messages and visit that site for a wealth of info and a variety of free answers to your specific questions, provided by experts from all 50 states and several other countries as well.

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With 1500+ benchmarks already found, I just hope that the ones already found will count when a counting system is implemented. In other words, I hope everything isn't reset when the counting system goes live.


One other variation on counting - I think it'd be interesting to have a separate count for benchmark "first finds." With benchmarks, I think it'd be fun to have an extra incentive to find (and, in some cases, uncover and clean) them first. That'd get us to the elusive "under 700,000" goal faster!


Tom S.

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I would love to see benchmarks maintained as a separate category of find. The really big ones (cathedral dome, etc) are easy, but the brass caps, witness stakes, etc. can be a real challenge and would be deserving of recognition! icon_confused.gif


icon_eek.gif Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son!

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You could easily develop a scoring system, ranking them as follows for example:

First Order Triangulation Station - 100 points


Ack! Nooo... no scoring! This isn't a competition, imho. If you wanna compete with other local hunters, develop a scoring system of your own - but it shouldn't be implimented on the site.


Rubbertoe - Webcam - Image Archives

--== http://www.bigfoot.com/~rbatina ==--

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I was hunting benchmarks long before Jeremy added the feature to the site. I have kept personal logs of most of them, but these are simple entries in a text file.


Now that he has provided a great way to track the finds, I suppose I should log all the aforementioned finds for historical purposes and so others who wish to hunt them can see that they have (or have not) been found recently.



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