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Offical recovery notes


gnbrotz
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Could those of you who have submitted official recovery notes (and know they have been added to the NGS data sheets) post some PIDs so I could see some examples?

 

I'd also like to hear from survey tech regarding how to best note my 'amateur' status (in addition to just using the 'INDIV' moniker).

 

Greg

N 39 54.705'

W 77 33.137'

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To: Deb Brown , res@verizon.net

Subject: Re: [Fwd: TR1243]

 

I have fixed the duplicate descriptions for this point. There are two PARK's in Washington and the somehow the description for the PARK near Anacortes (TR1243) was overwritten by the description for the other PARK. If you have a newer description for either of these points, please forward them to me.

 

Burton Smith

 

Deb Brown wrote:

 

> Burt,

>

> Take a look at the 2 stations in this guys > email and see if any changes need to be made in > the database. Should the 2 descriptions be

> identical?

>

> deb

>

> Subject: TR1243

> Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 14:49:22 -0500

> From:

> To: Deb.Brown@noaa.gov

>

> I just submitted a recovery for TR1243. I noticed the current description is the same as SD0800. I added a breif new description. If you would like a more detailed description drop me an email.

 

TR1243

 

Recovery at NGS

 

[This message was edited by Team 5-oh! on September 29, 2002 at 02:45 PM.]

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ME1956 STATION RECOVERY (2002)

ME1956

ME1956'RECOVERY NOTE BY INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS 2002 (CMD)

ME1956'DISK IS NO LONGER PROTECTED BY A 6 INCH PIPE NOR IS IT BELOW GRADE.

ME1956'DISK IS ABOUT 1 INCH ABOVE GRADE AS OF THIS DATE. DISK HAS A FEW NICK

ME1956'MARKS AND SCUFFS BUT IS EASILY READABLE.

 

logo_small.jpg

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I've posted several, a couple of which I wish I could take back because I now realize that if the description mentions more than one marker, I should search and report on them all. When I first started, I didn't always do that. Anyway, here is one of my better finds, along with a "not found" posted just 8 months earlier. They just didn't try hard enough icon_smile.gif

 

JY1113 HISTORY - 20011231 MARK NOT FOUND INDIV

JY1113 HISTORY - 20020817 GOOD INDIV

JY1113

JY1113 STATION RECOVERY (2001)

JY1113

JY1113'RECOVERY NOTE BY INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS 2001 (RAA)

JY1113'THE SCHOOL HOUSE IS NOW A CHURCH. THE MAIN ROAD NOW IS WEST OF THE

JY1113'OLD SCHOOL, THOUGH A SPUR OF OLD US 68 LEADS TO THE PARKING LOT OF THE

JY1113'CHURCH. THE BUILDING HAS BEEN MODIFIED CONSIDERABLY. THE MARK NOW IS

JY1113'UNDER CONCTRETE CONSTRUCTION OR POSSIBLY UNDER A WOODEN PORCH ON THE

JY1113'EAST END OF THE BUILDING.

JY1113

JY1113 STATION RECOVERY (2002)

JY1113

JY1113'RECOVERY NOTE BY INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS 2002 (RCB)

JY1113'ABOUT 3.2 MILES SOUTH OF YELLOW SPRINGS, GREENE COUNTY, OHIO ON THE

JY1113'EAST SIDE OF ROUTE 68, AT THE YELLOW SPRINGS UNITARIAN FELLOWSHIP, AT

JY1113'THE EAST ENTRANCE, TO THE RIGHT AND BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE DECK. A

JY1113'LOOSE BOARD IN THE DECK ALLOWS ACCESS. IT IS SET VERTICALLY AND HAS

JY1113'BEEN WHITEWASHED BUT IS READABLE.

JY1113'

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I've posted several, a couple of which I wish I could take back because I now realize that if the description mentions more than one marker, I should search and report on them all. When I first started, I didn't always do that. Anyway, here is one of my better finds, along with a "not found" posted just 8 months earlier. They just didn't try hard enough icon_smile.gif

 

JY1113 HISTORY - 20011231 MARK NOT FOUND INDIV

JY1113 HISTORY - 20020817 GOOD INDIV

JY1113

JY1113 STATION RECOVERY (2001)

JY1113

JY1113'RECOVERY NOTE BY INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS 2001 (RAA)

JY1113'THE SCHOOL HOUSE IS NOW A CHURCH. THE MAIN ROAD NOW IS WEST OF THE

JY1113'OLD SCHOOL, THOUGH A SPUR OF OLD US 68 LEADS TO THE PARKING LOT OF THE

JY1113'CHURCH. THE BUILDING HAS BEEN MODIFIED CONSIDERABLY. THE MARK NOW IS

JY1113'UNDER CONCTRETE CONSTRUCTION OR POSSIBLY UNDER A WOODEN PORCH ON THE

JY1113'EAST END OF THE BUILDING.

JY1113

JY1113 STATION RECOVERY (2002)

JY1113

JY1113'RECOVERY NOTE BY INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS 2002 (RCB)

JY1113'ABOUT 3.2 MILES SOUTH OF YELLOW SPRINGS, GREENE COUNTY, OHIO ON THE

JY1113'EAST SIDE OF ROUTE 68, AT THE YELLOW SPRINGS UNITARIAN FELLOWSHIP, AT

JY1113'THE EAST ENTRANCE, TO THE RIGHT AND BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE DECK. A

JY1113'LOOSE BOARD IN THE DECK ALLOWS ACCESS. IT IS SET VERTICALLY AND HAS

JY1113'BEEN WHITEWASHED BUT IS READABLE.

JY1113'

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Greg

There is no official wording or statement that I know of for use by hobbyists, and it is not required that you give any personal information, but I would recommend that you develop a signature statement of your own, by which those who follow you will be able to recognize your presence, since everyone develops a reputation, good or bad, if they choose to provide information for public use. Notice that the private companies who file recovery notes nearly always name themselves, out of a sense of ethical responsibilty to stand behind the information they provide. I would suggest that you say something like "This updated description provided courtesy of Greg Brotz, NGS control point enthusiast and GPS hobbyist, not acting in a professional capacity". This is intended to disclaim any liability on your part and also allow others to recognize you, so that they may come to decide in time whether your information is trustworthy or not. If you include coordinates, be sure to indicate that they were obtained using a handheld GPS unit. By the way, although I have visited or used probably 2-3 thousand points in my career, I have never filed any recovery notes and the many companies I have worked for around the country very seldom do so either. This is typical survey practice now, since most of the points in the NGS database are gone and it is considered far more important to have trustworthy and up to date information stored and available locally.

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I'm an amateur and have some questions -

 

1. I haven't done any NGS logging yet (and may never do it), but I'd like to understand better about the "liability on your part". Are there any hypothetical examples of this? If I report "the maple tree is gone, the station is 20 feet NW of an oak tree", or "the station is 20 feet from the curb", where's the real liability if I'm inaccurate and it is really 22 feet, not 20?

 

2. I have been wondering why such a large percentage (around here it seems like 30%) of benchmarks are actually gone (the building it was on is gone, the bridge has been replaced, etc.), and yet the PID is still on the 'active' list. So is the answer that the amount of times surveyors report destroyed/gone on the national (NGS) database in the last 30 years is approximately never??

 

In view of items #1 and #2 above it seems like there is less than zero reason for any of us amateurs to provide any report to the NGS. Is that true? Is that how the NGS feels about it?

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BDT

1. My refefence to liability was in a purely ethical sense. I do not imagine its likely that a geocacher would ever be sued for providing erroneous info, but you never know these days.

 

2. If only 30% of the markers in your area are gone you are fairly lucky. In my experience, well over 50% of all those ever entered in the NGS database are now extinct. In highly developed areas, 90% destruction is not surprising. You are right that surveyors hardly ever bother to report non-finds. This is at least partly because no one wants to declare the point gone, only to suffer the colossal embarrassment of having the next guy come along and find it, seriously damaging the reputation and credibility of the first guy. Its also important to understand, as I have said before, that the NGS database really ceased to be a living and growing thing about 20-30 years ago and is now little more than an arcane fossil. The NGS essentially completed its original mission of supplying the nation with a comprehensive network of control points at that time and entrusted the use and care of those points to the private sector for whose benefit they had been created in the first place. In most civilized areas, the original control points have been multiplied exponentially through the efforts of local surveyors, which is known as network densification, however, this work, having been done by private companies and local agencies, became proprietary info, which understandably, they are not inclined to publish for free unlimited use by others.

 

With regard to your conclusion, I do not know if NGS has any official position on the value of reporting, but they are there to serve and do the best they can with the severely limited funding they get. The main focus in recent years has been the development of monumentless control, based upon electronic reference stations that will eventually supplant physical monumentation. I would summarize their attitude as "Ok, America, here is a first rate control network for you to use, which took us 150 years to create, so take good care of it and enjoy it, because now its time for us to move on to other things".

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survey tech -

 

Thanks very much for your answers. We really do appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us!

 

I was initially very surprised that the NGS accepted individuals' (INDIV) reports on a government website. However, upon learning that the surveying community has largly abandoned the database, and possibly never contributed to its maintenance that much from the beginning, I can see how NGS might be in a position to allow John Q. Public or even Joe Blow to submit contributions to it.

 

Hopefully through our communication and knowledge sharing here, we can become a group of high quality benchmark finding and reporting amateurs.

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Originally posted by Black Dog Trackers:

survey tech -

 

However, upon learning that the surveying community has largly abandoned the database, and possibly never contributed to its maintenance that much from the beginning, I can see how NGS might be in a position to allow John Q. Public or even Joe Blow to submit contributions to it.

 

I think we need to remember that the ability to obtain information on control points and to report on thier condition has been greatly enhanced by the Internet. Geocachers would not even be aware of this database were it not for the Internet.

 

I take issue with your statement that the database has been abandoned by the surveying community. The surveying community did not initially establish this database, the Government did. Now that funding has been cut, NGS is asking surveyors to help with maintaining THIER database. This is where the Internet is a valuable tool.

 

Having Geocachers involved in reporting on the condition of monuments is a good idea, although please indicate your status as a Geocacher.

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quote:
Originally posted by boundsgoer:

I take issue with your statement that the database has been abandoned by the surveying community. The surveying community did not initially establish this database, the Government did. Now that funding has been cut, NGS is asking surveyors to help with maintaining THIER database.


 

Please cut out the US and THEM argument. US is THEM. The NGS was established by We the People, and as far as I can see (and interpreted from survey tech), surveyors are one of the few groups that still use this data.

 

As such, survey tech also mentioned that largely, surveyors do not report that benchmarks are missing, mostly due to the embarrassment they would get by marking one missing when it is recovered by another surveyor. For this reason (along with budget cuts), the database is largely outdated.

 

The Internet is a great way of sharing information, but the toolset is the last step to making it an effective way to update information. I would personally argue that "experts" in this case are a relative term, and that a Geocacher organizational recovery note can have as much weight as a surveyor, especially if the info comes with evidence of a destroyed or recovered marker. Personally, I'm insulted when someone states that an individual can't make sense of a benchmark that has been obviously destroyed, or another benchmark that has been obviously recovered.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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I agree with Boundsgoer, who I suspect is in the land surveying profession, that surveyors have not abandoned the NGS database, since they still use it regularly when they need to work in an area where they have not worked before and with which they are not familiar, in order to find control points. They have, however, established their own local control databases for their own city, county, etc., which are more useful to them, and naturally they choose to spend their time keeping these up to date and let the national database stagnate. It seems to me that the comments of Boundsgoer are positive rather than negative from a geocaching standpoint and should not be seen as insulting, since he imlpies that geocachers may be able to make a contribution that surveyors no longer take time to make, and I would agree with that. Its true that the NGS info is public property and belongs equally to everyone, and also that geocachers will probably make correct reports in most cases, especially where the evidence is obvious. But in many cases, where things are not so obvious, it takes a professional trained in land surveying to make a conclusive decision on the status of a marker. Thats the reason I have offered the explanations that I have provided here, in order to bring geocachers to a more complete understanding of our national control network and the need to respect it.

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I was not trying to set up an Us vs. Them situation. I certainly appreciate Geocachers (I consider myself one). I survey within a 4 state area, and it is nice to be able to see if the NGS control points have been recently recovered, or searched for and not found. It saves me time to keep from looking for a point that is probably not there. Being in private practice, time is money. And since time is money, give us surveyors a break. Prior to the Internet, it was more time consuming to file reports on these monuments. We in private practice usually did not have the resources to file said reports, since we would have to charge the client. Try explaining to them! Like I said before, with the Internet, it takes only a matter of minutes.

 

As far as determining if a marker is destroyed, I am still hesitant to report it as destroyed, unless there is irrefutable evidence. And it is not to save myself future embarrassment, since I do not mind being proved wrong, it is to keep a marker from being written off by someone more skilled at locating them.

 

I recall a particular marker that had very good ties to the south rail the a track and to a milepost to within a tenth of a foot. Not there. BUT, I know that over time railroads can shift the track and mileposts get knocked out and the Trackmaster just clocks down the track with his truck odometer to reset it. So just maybe that point is still there. Who knows. I just reported it as not found.

 

I certainly do not want to upset anyone. I try to review my posts to make sure they not too abrasive. I do not intend it.

 

Thank you for your patience,

 

Mark Johannes

COlO. PLS

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