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Skull Icons on present benchmarks


pnew

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Apparently on benchmarks that have been officially checked up on a number of times, if somewhere in the logs it has been marked as a "not found" then a skull icon is placed by the benchmark in the search list. I found instances where the benchmark was set, found, then not found, then found again yet a skull icon is still next to the benchmark on the search list. Is there anyway we can fix this? or how often does this occur?

 

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If a benchmark has ever had a "not found" report then it will appear on the geocaching site with a skull. It does not matter if it has a subsequent "found" report. This has been discussed before. My opinion, which I have stated before, is that the whole skull concept be thrown out and let the benchmarker beware. Perhaps there could be some sort of status field initially based on the last NGS report and updated by geocaching benchmark logs that could be used to highlight a benchmark's situation.

 

From what I can tell, the current geocaching priorities for fixing things are login problems, new maps and server issues. Hopefully when they get around to the benchmark section, they can address this issue in addition to some others.

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quote:
I found instances where the benchmark was set, found, then not found, then found again yet a skull icon is still next to the benchmark on the search list. Is there anyway we can fix this? or how often does this occur?


 

I've also seen a few that have been reported not found (not by us, by the pros) that do not have the skull icon. Probably has to do with the wording in the reports because the computer is assigning icons, not a real person.

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quote:
Originally posted by RogBarn:

...This has been discussed before. My opinion, which I have stated before...


 

glad you took some time out of your busy message posting day to state it again...

 

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quote:
Originally posted by RogBarn:

If a benchmark has ever had a "not found" report then it will appear on the geocaching site with a skull. It does not matter if it has a subsequent "found" report.


How many BM hunters are going to the top of the NEAREST BENCHMARK page and clicking on See all benchmarks for this query.

 

I have not been accepting all BMs have been lost and have found three in recent weeks. One lost one was reported by the NGS and it was mounted in the steps of COLORADO SPRINGS CITY HALL! The other two were reported as not found by our friends, USPS.

 

Unfortunately, the finding of these BMs do not add into the found totals as the destroyed ones don't subtract.

 

1950 Surveyor

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I certainly do, however a lot of mine are along abandoned railroads that have been reclaimed by the land owner so it takes some time to figure out who the owner is and ask them for permission to search the area. I certainly prefer the "Not Founds' by a surveyor, they usually give a reason why. (that they verified with the DOT that a road was widened or that they spoke to the land owner, etc.) It's those straight "Mark Not Found" that are suspect.

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quote:
Originally posted by Colorado Papa:

Unfortunately, the finding of these BMs do not add into the found totals as the destroyed ones don't subtract.


 

Could you please clarify this? I have found one "skull" benchmark, and as far as I know it has contributed to my current find total. Or am I misunderstanding your statement? icon_confused.gif

 

Thanks,

Zhanna

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quote:
Originally posted by BeachBum22:

I've also seen a few that have been reported not found (not by us, by the pros) that do not have the skull icon. Probably has to do with the wording in the reports because the computer is assigning icons, not a real person.


 

I think it's only if the "summary status" says "Not Found". It's possible some old reports don't follow that formatting.

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quote:
Originally posted by Zhanna:

quote:
Originally posted by Colorado Papa:

Unfortunately, the finding of these BMs do not add into the found totals as the destroyed ones don't subtract.


 

Could you please clarify this? I have found one "skull" benchmark, and as far as I know it has contributed to my current find total. Or am I misunderstanding your statement? icon_confused.gif


You are correct that logging a "found" will add to your own totals. I was refering to the 700,000 +/- figure and the founds on the main page that does not include benchmarks with skulls.

 

1950 Surveyor

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quote:
Originally posted by Colorado Papa:

quote:
Originally posted by RogBarn:

If a benchmark has ever had a "not found" report then it will appear on the geocaching site with a skull. It does not matter if it has a subsequent "found" report.


How many BM hunters are going to the top of the _NEAREST BENCHMARK_ page and clicking on _ See all benchmarks for this query._


 

Gee, this was an eye opener. Thanks!

 

But it leaves me even more confused about the stupid skulls. Got skull on this one

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=LO0971 even though it recovered thrice since reported lost;

and on this one

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=LO0597 which describes a find by USGS under a MARK NOT FOUND heading.

So on top of unreliable not-found reports to the NGS db, there are also db errors / data parsing errors?

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quote:
Originally posted by MOCKBA:

So on top of unreliable not-found reports to the NGS db, there are also db errors / data parsing errors?


Oh, boy! That's a mouth full of truth. Someone had to read the handwritten notes, and who knows how many times they were copied before being entered into an electronic database.

I've come across a lot of errors, west instead of east, north instead of south, conversion of feet to meters, etc. Read the description and my log for

JK0172.

Right now I am trying to interpret an entry for a BM that was placed in a concrete abutment in 1947 at a specific railroad underpass. It is still the original concrete and no modifications have been made since the original construction. No sign of a BM ever being mounted in any of the abutments. I'm beginning to believe the wrong street was entered into the log since other streets have an identical underpass.

 

1950 Surveyor

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quote:
Originally posted by MOCKBA:

quote:
Originally posted by Colorado Papa:

 

How many BM hunters are going to the top of the NEAREST BENCHMARK page and clicking on See all benchmarks for this query.


Gee, this was an eye opener. Thanks!


As an example of the difference, just look at these two pages for the same zip code: 80903 and

80903 with skulls. I'm working on the second page.

 

1950 Surveyor

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That looks hokey right from the start. The first marker on the list was last reported as

RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION (in 1997 by the U.S. Power Squadron). If they can find it, anybody can. So where'd the SKULL come from?

 

JK0210

 

The SKULL could only come from two places that I can think of. One, the original database was divided and skulls were assigned to PID's from a subset of data.

 

Or the current web software is scanning text and assigning SKULLS dynamically.

 

I'd guess option two, because JK0210 is currently listed with other NGS markers, although the db as distributed by NGS back when could have been different.

 

I'd recommend working off the NGS list, download the whole county. For two or three reasons.

 

One, the data sheets are newer, many have been updated since the db here was installed. Two, there are, at least in my area, new markers that aren't in the db, and while I'm out hunting I look for them too, even though I can't log them here.

 

Three, my personal preference only maybe, but I don't want any hints, so I'm not interested in seeing who or if a marker was found before I go looking for it. At first I was just looking for ones that nobody had found, but then I figured if I didn't know they'd found it and read the info added, if any, that works for me too.

 

I'm not keeping any stats, but I probably don't find more markers than I do find - and that would change drastically if I was only looking for stuff other people had already found.

 

1953 by CGS (FIRST OBSERVED)

DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1953 (RLE) THE STATION IS LOCATED IN THE NORTHWEST ANGLE OF KIOWA AND CASCADE STREETS, INSIDE THE CADILLAC GARAGE. WHICH IS ALSO THE ADAMS MOTOR CO. THE STATION IS A 3-LEGGED STEEL STRUCTURE PAINTED ALTERNATELY RED AND WHITE AND IT HAS AN OVER-ALL HEIGHT OF 300 FEET. THE LIGHT AT THE TOP AND CENTER WAS THE POINT OBSERVED UPON./QUOTE]

 

If you find that one, please take lots of pictures. That must be one hell of a big Cadillac garage if it has a 300 foot tower INSIDE of it icon_cool.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by BeachBum22:

quote:
1953 by CGS (FIRST OBSERVED)

DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1953 (RLE) THE STATION IS LOCATED IN THE NORTHWEST ANGLE OF KIOWA AND CASCADE STREETS, INSIDE THE CADILLAC GARAGE. WHICH IS ALSO THE ADAMS MOTOR CO. THE STATION IS A 3-LEGGED STEEL STRUCTURE PAINTED ALTERNATELY RED AND WHITE AND IT HAS AN OVER-ALL HEIGHT OF 300 FEET. THE LIGHT AT THE TOP AND CENTER WAS THE POINT OBSERVED UPON.


That must be one hell of a big Cadillac garage if it has a 300 foot tower INSIDE of it icon_cool.gif


Not bad really icon_smile.gif

My favorite outrageous description is of this notable XIX century spire (although not many outside of Utah can appreciate it)

 

LO1002'DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1942 (LAM)

LO1002'IN SALT LAKE CITY, WEST SIDE OF NORTH MAIN STREET BETWEEN

LO1002'WEST SOUTH TEMPLE AND WEST NORTH TEMPLE STREETS, ABOVE

LO1002'EAST FACE OF MORMON TEMPLE IN TEMPLE BLOCK. SPIRE IS

LO1002'CENTRAL AND TALLEST OF THREE SPIRES AT EAST END OF TEMPLE,

LO1002'BUILT OF GRAY STONE, WITH PYRAMIDAL APEX, AND ORNAMENTAL

LO1002'CORNERS. SPIRE SURMOUNTED BY SMALL GLOBE SUPPORTING GILDED

LO1002'FIGURE OF ANGEL GABRIEL FACING EAST, BLOWING LONG TRUMPET.

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quote:
Originally posted by BeachBum22:

That looks hokey right from the start. The first marker on the list was last reported as

RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION (in 1997 by the U.S. Power Squadron). If they can find it, anybody can. So where'd the SKULL come from?

 

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=JK0210

 

The SKULL could only come from two places that I can think of. ....


 

Try option #3: The "Not found" in 1983 is triggering the skull. The parsing software seems to ignore the fact it was found later.

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quote:
Try option #3: The "Not found" in 1983 is triggering the skull. The parsing software seems to ignore the fact it was found later.

 

That's what I meant by "the current web software is scanning text and assigning SKULLS dynamically".

 

Found one today with a SKULL. BC0191

 

The last entry on the NGS data sheet on this web site is from 1975:

 

BC0191 HISTORY - Date Condition Recov. By

BC0191 HISTORY - 1970 MONUMENTED NGS

BC0191 HISTORY - 1975 MARK NOT FOUND FLDNR

 

But on the current NGS data sheet, it was found after it was not found, in 1987:

 

BC0191 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

BC0191 HISTORY - 1970 MONUMENTED NGS

BC0191 HISTORY - 1975 MARK NOT FOUND FLDNR

BC0191 HISTORY - 1987 GOOD FLDNR

 

Which means the data sheet here is REALLY old, or the NGS is taking 16 years to do updates.

 

But I agree, probably the parsing software sees MARK NOT FOUND and assigns the SKULL, irregardless if it was the last entry in the HISTORY section or not.

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Some points here:

 

1. It is true that the geocaching software assigns skulls based on the fact that any entry is NOT FOUND even if it was subsequently found. This is definitely confusing.

 

2. Many benchmarks are updated from projects in which the paperwork is not sent in until the project is done. This delays reports. It certainly doesn't explain why a 1987 report didn't show up until after 2000, but it just shows that there can be several places along the way where delays can occur. This is confusing.

 

3. I remember that someone mentioned on these forums a while back that in some projects, a report must be made on all points identified at the beginning of the project even if they were never used or even searched for. Thus, NOT FOUND reports get generated. This is certainly confusing but helps explain how the NOT FOUNDs get in there sometimes.

 

So, the database is confusing. Apparently the professionals understand this and have learned how to work around it. The better we understand this and are able to work around it, the more fun we will have finding benchmarks. Perhaps helping to explain the confusing nature of the database is an area for improvement in the FAQ.

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