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DaveD

NGS Test Data Sheet

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There have been numerous posts on this board in the past about the ability to update NGS data sheets to improve scaled positions for bench marks with values observed with hand-held GPS, and to add digital images collected by many geocachers. After considerable discussion and evaluation, we have a new test data sheet available for comment. Try stations AC3384 and TA0047 and see what you think. The plan is to allow users to provide both digital images and hand-held GPS positions (only to updates marks with just scaled positions) through the existing on-line recovery program. The changes may look subtle. There will be 2 types of hand-held positions based on the accuracy 1 - differently corrected (+/- 3 m) or 2 - autonomous position (+/- 10 m). The user will also be able to submit 2 digital images (without people as shown in this test case), note that only TA0047 has images linked. If you have any comments, positive or otherwise, please send me a note - dave.doyle@noaa.gov, with the subject "Test Data Sheet." I may not respond personally to each note I receive, but you can be assured that they will all be reviewed and considered by the NGS Products and Services committee

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Looks like a winner to me. On the "differentially" corrected values would WAAS qualify?

 

It will be so nice to capture the vast amount information that digital cameras, hand held GPS's and the internet can provide for the benefit of everyone.

 

Is there a process in place for geodetic grade GPS information to be incorporated into "scaled" locations and heights?

 

----- Fighting entropy one benchmark at a time. -----

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Looks good!

 

quote:
Originally posted by DaveD:

The user will also be able to submit 2 digital images


 

Why 2 when the standard is 3? (Close-up, eye-level, area)

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quote:
Originally posted by GeckoGeek:

Why 2 when the standard is 3? (Close-up, eye-level, area)


 

"At least three digital photographs are required for each mark recovered or described during the current project."

 

Yes, submitting only two photos would be counter to the NGS requirements.

 

I have been creating up to six photos for each mark. As long as it is possible I grab N, W, S, & E. The only mention of maximum photos in the requirements is "Alter the orientation of the photographs as necessary to include this information in as few photographs as possible."

 

--- J

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Howdy, Dave! This is certainly a timely and encouraging development. But I have a couple of questions concerning update submissions of this type. Does someone at NGS carefully review these submissions before they are officially added to the datasheets? Also, is only one update per PID allowed? How would that work if there were more than one submission (involving either GPS coordinates or photographs)? For example, if someone submits autonomous GPS coordinates, and then later someone else submits differential GPS coordinates.

 

Thanks for your efforts. I'm much more enthused about pursuing my amateur benchmark recoveries after hearing of this.

 

Cheers ...

 

~Rich in NEPA~

 

--- A man with a GPS receiver knows where he is; a man with two GPS receivers is never sure. ---

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quote:
Does someone at NGS carefully review these submissions before they are officially added to the datasheets?

 

I would have certainly thought so, but I was looking at some data sheets on the NGS web site this evening and I found one report that said:

 

CX2117 STATION RECOVERY (2003)

 

CX2117'RECOVERY NOTE BY GEOCACHING.COM

CX2117'YAHOO! YIPPEE! FOUND THAT SUCKER WHILE

CX2117'LOOKING FOR THE BOX-O-TRASH CACHE. TOOK

CX2117'TWO REFERENCE MARKERS AND LEFT A WITNESS

CX2117'POST. COULDN'T FIND THE LOG SO DIDN'T

CX2117'SIGN IT. THANKS TO THE PREVIOUS FINDERS

CX2117'FOR THE GOOD DIRECTIONS!

 

Dave, how could a thing like that happen???

 

BeachBum22

http://www.benchmarkhunting.com

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quote:

CX2117 STATION RECOVERY (2003)


 

Sorry, but I could not display this PID on either NGS or geocaching.com

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I tried looking at both.

That is their data sheet ,what am I suppose to see that is diffrent?

Is it in the Recovery form? I am a little slow here at getting it sorry get the DUHHH's everonce and a while.

 

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS

*GEOTRYAGAIN*

TAKE PRIDE IN AMERICA

http://www.doi.gov/news/front_current.html

1803-2003

"LOUSIANA PURCHASE"

http://www.lapurchase.org

"LEWIS AND CLARK EXPADITION"

http://lewisclark.geog.missouri.edu/index

 

Arkansas Missouri Geocachrs Association

http://www.ARK-MOGeocachersAssociatoin@msnusers.com

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Ark-Mo-Geocachers

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No, not fussing. Just stating my NVHO(never very humble opinion). Just thinking about how fast Team Shaving Cream could hose up the NGS database gives me cold shivers.icon_cool.gif

 

Yo, Dude! Yippie! Yahoo! Bring me the hammer and chisel, I think I found another one of them benchmark things.

 

Team Shaving Cream JUMBO Cache

 

This cache is not a micro, it's a 55 gallon drum. Included in this cache we have a log book, a pencil, and 153 NGS Travel Bug Survey Discs, each one marked with a designation and elevation serial number.....

 

BeachBum22

http://www.benchmarkhunting.com

Just because I can't find it doesn't mean it's not really there.

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quote:
what am I suppose to see that is diffrent?

 

You have to look at the current sheet in the NGS database, not the one here. Link to TA0047

 

On the NAD83 line, you'll see HD_HELD1 which means the coordinates are from a hand held GPS. Explanation is a few lines down:

 

"The horizontal coordinates....."

 

Also there is a Photographs link on in the datasheet to see the photos that were submitted.

 

BeachBum22

http://www.benchmarkhunting.com

Just because I can't find it doesn't mean it's not really there.

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This board posts some great questions. As to the 2 photos not being NGS policy. That is correct is the sense that NGS requires more for actual field projects being submitted for inclusion in the National Spatial Reference System. As the chairman of the NGS on-line recovery program control board, I made sure this topic was address at our last meeting. The concesus was that we want to encourage the thousands of surveyors and others (geocachers) who will never submit a project to take advantage of the technology and be able to submit the images that many of them were already taking, as well evidenced by this site, and trying to make this as easy as possible. When we release the updated on-line recovery program in a couple of months (I hope, I only have one programer who's up to her a%^$$ in alligators right now) there will be a set of specifications that we want the public to follow that will describe the digital size of the images, the name format, dates required directly on the image, image cannot contain people/pets etc. etc. One of the major problems we will have is that each image must be reviewed before it's loaded to make sure it fits the specs. This will be quite an effort for at lease several NGS employees.

 

The other really good issue raised was by "Rich in NEPA" who is concerned about what we will do about updating positions. The software is already set up to check and review new positions. Any position entered into the system will cause the data base to retrieve all points within 10 arc seconds of the position entered, and will then compare the PID from the on-line recovery program the data retrieved to ensure that mark is there. If the existing position is scaled, then the new position will be accepted. If that position is autonomous and a future differentially corrected value is submited, the same process will occure and if all the checks are acceptable the new position will be accepted.

 

There are probably a hunder different ways in which people will screw this up, but we felt is was more important to get this program up and running then spending at least another year trying to work out all the possible bugs that we haven't encountered yet.

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quote:
Originally posted by DaveD:

There will be 2 types of hand-held positions based on the accuracy 1 - differently corrected (+/- 3 m) or 2 - autonomous position (+/- 10 m).


A WAAS system under excellent conditions might meet the 3m standard. I don't know about the rest if you guys, but I haven't seem my "accuracy" figure go into single digits yet.

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A WAAS system under excellent conditions might meet the 3m standard. I don't know about the rest if you guys, but I haven't seem my "accuracy" figure go into single digits yet.

 

With WAAS on and an external antenna, I'd guess the average I see is 9 feet. The lowest that I've noticed was below 6 feet, 5.9 I think.

 

BeachBum22

http://www.benchmarkhunting.com

Just because I can't find it doesn't mean it's not really there.

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54503_200.jpg

 

With a WAAS signal present and using an active remote antenna under open sky I typically see single-digit accuracy figures, and low-to-mid teens under slightly less ideal conditions. Heavy tree cover is still a bigger problem. At adjusted horizontal control stations my position fixes are generally very stable and amazingly 3 out of 5 times they match the NGS coordinates precisely to the least significant decimal, and the remaining times the lat/lon difference is less than 12 feet (that is, one or two least significant decimals). The photo above is from a tri-station (KV3863) that was recovered this past Friday. It's not unusual for me to see this kind of agreement at known coordinates.

 

Cheers ...

 

~Rich in NEPA~

 

--- A man with a GPS receiver knows where he is; a man with two GPS receivers is never sure. ---

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quote:
Originally posted by Rich in NEPA:

using an active remote antenna


From the reponses so far, that seems to be the key.

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quote:
Originally posted by GeckoGeek:

From the reponses so far, that seems to be the key.


Well, it may or may not be the key. I couldn't really say that for sure. My foremost reason for using the remote amplified antenna is that I like to include my GPSr in benchmark recovery photos by laying it flat on the ground next to the mark. In this position signal reception is severely hindered. The GPSmap76 series (or any unit with a quad-helix antenna) prefers to be oriented vertically. But even in the vertical orientation and with WAAS correction available, it seems to provide single digit accuracy figures when I'm navigating out in the open or on high prominent points. I have noticed that there is some increase in signal strengths with the remote antenna attached, and that may be a good thing. I only wished to state my amazement that position fixes at known high-precision survey marks are often solid and dead on with the published coordinates. As a matter of fact, I just noticed in the example I gave above that the half dozen or so photos I took of the unit at the station mark shows the elevation alternating between 1405 and 1406 feet. The datasheet lists the elevation of the mark itself at 1405 feet!

 

Cheers ...

 

~Rich in NEPA~

 

--- A man with a GPS receiver knows where he is; a man with two GPS receivers is never sure. ---

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Thanks for that.

I am on the Road again in St. Genevieve Mo. today off to the next stop,along the Trail of Tears they just happened to have a computer in the lobby and thought that I would check in a little.Happy .....................Geotrails

 

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS

*GEOTRYAGAIN*

TAKE PRIDE IN AMERICA

http://www.doi.gov/news/front_current.html

1803-2003

"LOUSIANA PURCHASE"

http://www.lapurchase.org

"LEWIS AND CLARK EXPADITION"

http://lewisclark.geog.missouri.edu/index

 

Arkansas Missouri Geocachrs Association

http://www.ARK-MOGeocachersAssociatoin@msnusers.com

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Ark-Mo-Geocachers

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I have had an measured error of one foot with my meridian measured against GPS horizontal control placed by NYS DOT and entered in the NGS records. One advantage of the meridian is that the antenna works just fine in a horizontal position.

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I finally got a chance to look at the test datasheets. This is definitely an improvement in the data and it is presented clearly so the user will know just what he is working with.

 

A reasonably friendly user interface will make this work for you.

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Possibly slightly related to this topic...is there any way to query the NGS database directly without having to use this page (ds_pid.prl)?

 

If there were a way to directly query based on PID, it could help to keep the Geocaching pages updated. Each BM query on GC.com could call the NGS datasheet and confirm or update the existing information in the GC database. I don't know if this would cause a ton of traffic against the NGS site, but it's just an idea...

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I agree, this would be a great improvement to the data.

 

One thing that comes to mind. Would you only be able to add images when a recovery was noted or would you be able to add photo's only to a mark? As I have many images of marks but have long since sent in a recovery report.

 

Also I notice that no images currently get posted of destroyed marks? That would seem to be important photo to have in the event someone should decide that an uprooted or disturbed mark should be planted/straightened or other wise made to look like nothing happened. I have seen/suspected this to have happened on several occasions in the past.

 

Mike

Survey Tech (Retired)

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elcamino if you have a lot of images for previously submitted recoveries, I'm hopeful we can work something out. The primary contact will be Ms. Deb Brown (deb.brown@noaa.gov), she can provide you the requirements for formats and date tages. Our considerations were to develop an effort that works for the public, yet also does not create an inordinate demand on NGS resources. I would have to leave this one up to Deb as to our time available to process your images.

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