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Is Benchmarking a different game, or part of Geocaching?


Web-ling
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy (Admin):

It's a different game.

 

That's why it has a different background color. It'll be rolled up into Groundspeak once we move to .NET

 

Jeremy

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location


 

Given that it's a different game, how are the "rules" different than geocaching? In geocaching, the basic "rules" are: Find the cache, sign the log book, trade if you want, log it at Geocaching.com. Most people agree that a "find" for a traditional cache is picking up the cache and signing the log. Virtual caches (which is what benchmarks are), on the other hand, have all sorts of different rules, from taking a photo or finding a password to nothing at all. What should the "standard" be? I think for most benchmarks, you should at least get close enough to visually ID the disk. In the case of structures (water towers, church steeples, radio towers, etc.), getting as close as legally possible should be close enough.

 

Also, given that many of these benchmarks have existed for 40 years or more (unlike caches), should retroactive logs be acceptible, as long as there is documentation (photos, etc.)? I've got photos of two I found at the summits of mountains a couple of years ago. I've heard that some people have been hunting these things for years. Should we log them?

 

I'd just like to see these issues cleared up from the beginning, so we don't have useless debating in the forums forever.

 

25021_1200.gif

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Here's my thoughts and they're definitely open to debate:

 

1. Pictures are required for a true find. It's really the only proof that you did, indeed, find it.

 

2. It has to be your picture. Posting someone else's image doesn't hack it. But the picture can be in the past.

 

3. As 2, retroactive logs are fine. In fact, encouraged. The idea here is not to up your score but to get a visual representation of these areas. I think the real skill is finding a benchmark of true interest, like one on an old historical building or a unique view. Once this gets going we'll probably allow folks to add attributes to particularly interesting ones, like the benchmarks at the summits of mountain tops.

 

Thoughts?

 

Jeremy

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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An additional rule would obviously be that you're supposed to physically visit the benchmark (Duh!!), not collect information off of the Internet or elsewhere. The only reason I mention it is because there are a few "virtual cachers" who are notorious for logging caches without physically visiting them.

 

For those who don't have digital cameras, a possible alternative to a photo would be a rubbing. Take a piece of paper and a dark crayon. Set the paper on the marker, and rub the top of the paper with the crayon. The engraving from the marker will be copied onto the paper. The rubbing could then be scanned and uploaded to the website. Genealogists have used this technique for years on gravestones.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

3. As 2, retroactive logs are fine. In fact, encouraged.

Jeremy

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location


 

I just tried to enter one with a date of 8/7/1993. I got an error message saying the date was out of range.

 

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[This message was edited by Web-ling on May 18, 2002 at 07:41 PM.]

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I believe that this new game will add acssesibility to an entire new population.....

 

People with restricted mobility will now have an endless erray of sites that they can visit...

 

Perhaps Benchmark hunting could be presented this way!! icon_biggrin.gif

 

My daughter is in a class for mentally retarted teenagers....they all love using a camera....

I might just hae them do a field trip to a benchmark near her class....Now that would be a cool log...and she could use the GPS to get them there!!

 

Dx

 

"Have you no news on your travels?" the Book of fairy & folk tales of Ireland (1888)

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I believe that this new game will add acssesibility to an entire new population.....

 

People with restricted mobility will now have an endless erray of sites that they can visit...

 

Perhaps Benchmark hunting could be presented this way!! icon_biggrin.gif

 

My daughter is in a class for mentally retarted teenagers....they all love using a camera....

I might just hae them do a field trip to a benchmark near her class....Now that would be a cool log...and she could use the GPS to get them there!!

 

Dx

 

"Have you no news on your travels?" the Book of fairy & folk tales of Ireland (1888)

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I do not believe that NGS would mind in the least, provided that people do not start redundant logging of benchmarks to the NGS data sheets. If you find one that has not been recovered for some time, list it as a recovery. BUT the NGS site is not for playing games of anysort. The NGS database is important tool. Log anything you want to geocaching.com though.

 

Wesley Horton

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I think that geocaching.com's logs should be kept totally separate from the NGS database. First, the choices for type of log do not correlate well the the NGS's. Here you choose found or not found. At the NGS you pick a condition. Also, a not found log at this website is not the same as a missing log at the NGS. I would _really_ make sure the mark was gone before I officially reported it missing. But I might log a not found here after only a few minutes of quick searching. Lastly, the content of my log here is vastly different in tone from what I included in the recovery reports I have submitted. Drive-in hit the nail on the head. Geocaching is a game,the NGS is a serious matter.

 

rdw

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I believe it is very much a part of Geocaching. It requires me to use my GPS to locate a position. Then I find the object and log my find.

 

As far a Rules. The most important rule is if you are having fun doing it, keep doing it. I don't see the need to worry if someone else is doing it right. Right for me may not be right for them. If they are enjoying it, then great.

 

Doodad

Been there, Logged that, Got the T-shirt

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what we need here is a conspiracy theory....while we go out and log our finds and even become competitive in doing so, we perform a function for NOAA in rocovering these benchmarks. In return for this NOAA then sends Jeremy a set $$$ amount for every one sucessfully recovered. That's why the advocating of digital images and such.

 

11902_900.gif

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Hello everyone, Im here to promote, and to thank you for, your interest in Land Surveying.

 

The NGS & NOAA typically require that documentation of survey markers, either recovered or unrecovered, be done by their employees or by registered land surveyors, on their forms. You may, however, assist your local surveyor by informing him of the results of your search. If a particularly important point is found, he may elect to forward the information to the appropriate authority. By the way, all markers are not created equal! They are usually designated first order, second order, third order or undesignated. I might suggest that you institute a point system, with first order markers being worth the most points. Incidentally, taking a group of students on a field trip to see some of your local markers is a wonderful idea! Please contact your secretary of state for recommendation of a local surveyor to speak to your group.

 

For further information on Land Surveying, please feel free to visit us at rpls.com and ask any questions you may have

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I do not have a dig. camera or the means to scan them in. Is there a place we could send pictures to log the finds? This would be a neat icon_biggrin.gif and I would go looking for benchmarks while I was Geocaching. I will not be able to count them and log them, with out a place to send them. What are your thoughts? Cache Commando

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I do not have a dig. camera or the means to scan them in. Is there a place we could send pictures to log the finds? This would be a neat icon_biggrin.gif and I would go looking for benchmarks while I was Geocaching. I will not be able to count them and log them, with out a place to send them. What are your thoughts? Cache Commando

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quote:
Originally posted by cache commando:

I do not have a dig. camera or the means to scan them in. Is there a place we could send pictures to log the finds?


 

Well there is a work around. I have a digital camera but I hate going in the back of my computer to hook up the camera & uploading them. So what I do is just use a normal camera & then when you go to get them developed, just ask for a picture disk (it's about $4.99 each). That way you will have the pictures on a disk & you can post them from there. That's what I do icon_smile.gif Hope this helps.

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quote:
Originally posted by cache commando:

I do not have a dig. camera or the means to scan them in. Is there a place we could send pictures to log the finds?


 

Well there is a work around. I have a digital camera but I hate going in the back of my computer to hook up the camera & uploading them. So what I do is just use a normal camera & then when you go to get them developed, just ask for a picture disk (it's about $4.99 each). That way you will have the pictures on a disk & you can post them from there. That's what I do icon_smile.gif Hope this helps.

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quote:
Originally posted by survey tech:

 

The NGS & NOAA typically require that documentation of survey markers, either recovered or unrecovered, be done by their employees or by registered land surveyors, on their forms.


 

I must disagree. The NGS welcomes recoveries by individuals. When filling out a recovery form at http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/datasheet.html the individual reporting the recovery must place the code INDIV in the "Agency" field.

 

Naturally one should read and follow the directions when filing a recovery.

 

Dean

H3+1

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I believe that information provided by an individual, if accepted, is treated as a different class of report. Policy on this may have changed in recent years however, so my knowledge may be obsolete. Its true, unfortunately, that due to budgetary constraints, the government has done less to perpetuate, maintain and preserve these markers over the last 20 years or so, than they formerly did. Therefore, it may be that they now accept information that they formerly would have ignored, since their ability to monitor the status of the markers themselves is now limited by the reduction in funding for such projects.

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Some benchmarks I have looked for are not at the coordinates at all. I have found some to be up to 107 feet off. The logs are the best info for most of my finds. The logs will often give an intersection or street address. I use the GPS to enter in the correct coord's. So I think these finds should be seperate from geocaches.

 

nscaler

"Anyone not here, raise your hand!".

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Thats right Nscaler, when the coordinates do not match the description, use the description. The coordinates will put you on the horizontal control points, assuming you are on datum, but they are less useful when searhing for vertical control points, and can even be misleading. The whole idea of providing coordinates for benchmarks is just to give you a rough idea of the area you need to be in. Using the latitude and longitude, you can tell which topographic map sheet you need to have to find the marker, since the topo maps show lat. & long. The only time you would need to actually use the coordinates would be if the objects in the description were all gone, and in such cases the marker is usually gone as well. I know a little about this - I have been locating these markers for 20 years as a part of my job, and I have never used GPS, although in some cases it would have made the search go quicker.

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