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BMKs and RMKs

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Looking through the gallery I notice that many are taking pictures of reference marks and logging the station as "found". Is anyone else tempted to let them know they really didn't find the mark? I sent an email today but hope it isn't misconstrued.

 

Should we:

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I see marks logged incorrectly all the time. It's only a game, get over it. I do notice that once someone gets a fair number of marks, they start paying attention and get better at it. So, the NGS, we have to be careful, but here, let it go.

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It can be hard to find even one of the reference marks for a benchmark at times. I know of one near me where one reference mark is in a fenced off area, and the benchmark itself is on the shoulder of a freeway.

 

Having found the other reference mark I am happy that the remaining marks can be found, or can be recreated, even though I won't be the one doing the recovey. Life and limb considerations asside, I don't consider the mark to be found, so I won't mark it as such.

 

That said, unless they are reporting the benchmarks as found to the NGS, it is all in fun. There is no prize for having the high count for found benchmarks that I know of. Most of us do not use benchmarks as geocaches, even if we are using them as starting points for searches.

 

I also agree with RogBarn that once someone has found a couple of benchmarks, they are even more interested in improving their finds and search techniques.

 

Perhaps a note like, "Glad to see you are looking for benchmarks. Just wanted to note that you reported a find on bm####, but the photo looks like it is one of the reference marks for the benchmark. Did you compare notes with the benchmark documentation and look in the area pointed to by the arrow?" would be helpful.

 

Just my thoughts. Then again I am somewhat parranoid about my own finds and reports.

 

-Rusty

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I agree that it should be OK to email a fellow geocacher with advice on benchmark reporting. (Email me and correct me about mine as well!) I say this for two reasons:

 

1. We (geocachers) now have status as an official NGS contributor (GEOCAC). As such, I think we should be pro-active in establishing NGS-oriented standards amongst ourselves to establish a positive reputation with both NGS and surveyors for our contributor name. Yes, I know that not all of us even report to the NGS (I haven't sent in mine yet), but people reporting on either the geocaching site or NGS site should use the same knowledge and criteria.

 

2. On this benchmark hunting forum, we have been moving together toward understanding how to register finds, not finds, destroyed, etc. However, there may be many benchmark hunters amongst us that don't read the benchmark forum and may have missed some of the stuff that we have figured out. So far, the geocaching benchmark section main page doesn't have such detailed information about exactly what qualifies as a find, etc., and its link to NGS doesn't either, as far as I can see.

 

Because we (geocachers) now have status as an official NGS contributor, it is now more than 'just a game' - it is a game that is now associated with the same gameplayers also reporting to a government website. The gameplayers should follow the same rules and criteria when reporting to either website as much as possible.

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Very good points all around. I posted the poll because I'm curious to know if (collective) you would appreciate being corrected. Some take it personnaly and I don't wish to offend. (Well, not about benchmarks anyway) I noticed in the gallery how much the arrow on some of the "found" logs stands out. I would not take offense if someone corrected me about that, but would others?

 

If your house catches afire, and there ain?t no water around,

If your house catches afire, and there ain?t no water around,

Throw your jelly out the window; let the dog-gone shack burn down.

**Huddie Ledbetter**

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I would hope anyone operating without a full understanding of the different types of points would appreciate being educated, rather than feeling insulted. In fact, I suspect they might feel embarrassed after realizing the truth and wonder why no one had advised them about it. I doubt that anyone would prefer to continue acting under a mistaken premise. After all, life is for learning.

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I suspect there would be two levels of benchmarkers--"clue me in" and "you do it your way while I'll do it mine"--as sometimes has seemed apparant from some of the postings in this forum. I want the feedback; I would presume others do unless they say otherwise. I'm seeing a learning curve in my finds and some of those in my local area. That's one of the things that attracts me to benchmarking...there is a whole system/culture of which the BMs themselves are just the surface.

 

Since the issue of reference marks came up, let me ask for validation (or correction) of my understanding: the station mark is the find criterion for a triangulation station BM; however, a reference mark itself would constitute a find for a BM consisting solely of the reference mark itself, no? (e.g., this one)

 

Max

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Wow, pretty confusing when there's a separate page for the station and ref marks. Looks right to me though.

 

If your house catches afire, and there ain?t no water around,

If your house catches afire, and there ain?t no water around,

Throw your jelly out the window; let the dog-gone shack burn down.

**Huddie Ledbetter**

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I am still a fairly newbie,if you see that I have posted in error,I would appreciate the correction.I am sure that anyone who would like to become more professional like would agree also.The Triangulation Station,Reference marks and Azimuth are all part of the Station.We do not have the capabilities yet to log the diffrent (characters) of the domain, only that it was found,not found,ect..Not being able to log (the one), of the several aspects of the Triangulation Stations. And there are no references to the Bench marks unless you have the field notes.Then there is no place to log them if you do have the field notes. icon_eek.gif could go on upon the many aspects of the benchmarks icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif Some of the Triangulation Stations that I have logged do not reference the reference marks. See Enumerated Domain Helper,wish I were educated enough to get this one going,I have in my own small way!! http://geology.gov/tools/metadata/tools/doc/ctc/edoms.shtml

When all else fails Geotry again.

 

[This message was edited by Trailblazer # 1 on November 04, 2002 at 08:35 PM.]

 

[This message was edited by Trailblazer # 1 on November 04, 2002 at 08:37 PM.]

 

[This message was edited by Trailblazer # 1 on November 04, 2002 at 08:38 PM.]

 

[This message was edited by Trailblazer # 1 on November 04, 2002 at 08:40 PM.]

 

[This message was edited by Trailblazer # 1 on November 04, 2002 at 08:43 PM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by embra:

Since the issue of reference marks came up, let me ask for validation (or correction) of my understanding: the station mark is the find criterion for a triangulation station BM; however, a reference mark itself would constitute a find for a BM consisting solely of the reference mark itself, no?


 

This is a good point, and you're correct. Anyone who's randomly looking through the gallery needs to realize that many of the reference marks (and even azimuth marks) have PIDs which are separate from the triangulation station PID.

 

GABLES, which we found while on vacation in NJ, has separate PIDs for the station disk, each of the two reference marks, and the azimuth mark:

 

Gables station disk

Gables RM 4

Gables RM 5

Gables azimuth mark

 

(This one didn't have RM 1-3, just 4 and 5.)

 

I'll be the first to admit that, when I first started out, I came close to logging a few of the combined marks (one PID for station, RM, and AZ MK) before realizing that I hadn't actually found the station, but the stamp on the disk usually gave it away, and I caught my error before logging any of them.

 

The only time I've been tempted to correct someone (but haven't done it) is when I see someone say something to the effect of, "I didn't climb to the top of the standpipe (or church spire, cupola, whatever) to see if the benchmark was in place." I see these quite a bit on non-disk benchmarks. If the marker type says "standpipe" and you see the standpipe in its correct location, that's a find. There is no actual disk at the top of the spire, standpipe, etc.

 

But that's a whole other topic, so I'll stop rambling about it. icon_rolleyes.gif

 

Dac

 

---------

Goodbye twenties, hello minivan.

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quote:
Originally posted by Trailblazer # 1:

And then there are those

Which do have the station at the top of the Tank. See: GF0921 Exeter Minicipal Tank. there are several others as well.


 

Thanks...I think you just reinforced the point I was trying to make. icon_smile.gif

 

Like I said in my last post, there's no actual disk at the top of the standpipe, spire, etc. The one you listed says (emphasis mine), "The station is the center of the top of the tank." (As opposed to having a disk at the center of the top of the tank.)

 

If you can see the tank (and the top from a distance), chances are the center of the top of it is still there. Otherwise, why would you have logged this as a find? icon_biggrin.gif

 

I've seen quite a few folks saying that they didn't climb to the top of (for example) the church spire to make sure the benchmark was still there. If the marker type says "church spire," and the correct marker (referred to in the description) is still there and still in the same spot, it can usually be seen and photographed from the ground...no climbing required.

 

I was thinking more along the lines of something like this:

FZ1539

 

The original description says the station is the ball at the top of the spire. In the finder's description, they mention that they couldn't climb to the top to verify the mark, but in their last picture (the setting sun pic) the ball is clearly visible. Isn't that verification enough, without having to climb up to it?

 

(My example was not meant to single out the folks who found it...it was just the first example of this that I found in the gallery today.)

 

I haven't and wouldn't correct someone on something like that anyway, as it's really not a big deal. It's just one of those things that nags at the back of my mind when I see it.

 

I apologize to Criminal for temporarily hijacking the thread, or at least sending it way off on a tangent. As for your (Criminal's) original question, I wouldn't be offended at all if someone corrected me about improperly logging a find. I'd rather do it the right way and would appreciate someone telling me, as opposed to that person just writing me off as ignorant/uneducated.

 

Dac

 

---------

Goodbye twenties, hello minivan.

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My main objective when I wrote that one myself on a water tank, is that you could not see the center of the top of this type of tank,but you are correct in saying if the tank,standpipe ect. are visible, but I have recovered several that have been removed except for the 4 concrete bases,is this a find since the data sheet says standpipe?its gone!! but the evidence remains. I have also logged several fire towers that are no longer there but found the Triangulation stations beneath where it once stood,is this the same since the data sheet say's the top of the tower?I have done my best to log the evidence as found.It seems there are always those little gliches eh.... icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

When all else fails Geotry again.

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Ok, I'm confused about the confusion.

Its my understanding that RMs are NOT the station, but point you TO the station.

So when you have a cluster of three discs (1 station and 2 RMs) you only log the station disc as found? I would have logged all three discs in this example as finds.....

Or am I just misunderstanding altogether? Perhaps people have been finding the RM discs and not the station mark but logging the station found anyway?

ARGH! icon_confused.gif

I would appreciate being corrected politely in emails or posts regarding any mis-logs. We don't learn if we aren't informed.

 

_________________________________________________________________

Even when I've gotten there I don't know where I am.

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quote:
Originally posted by Criminal:

Looking through the gallery I notice that many are taking pictures of reference marks and logging the station as "found".


 

According to Jeremy in THIS THREAD, logging a find when you've only found one of the reference marks is acceptable. I would NOT log it at the NGS website as found, however. Also, if the RM has a seperate PID, I would NOT log the main disk, just the RM.

 

25021_1200.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Trailblazer # 1:

 

but I have recovered several that have been removed except for the 4 concrete bases,is this a find since the data sheet says standpipe?its gone!! but the evidence remains. I have also logged several fire towers that are no longer there but found the Triangulation stations beneath where it once stood,is this the same since the data sheet say's the top of the tower?


 

For the ones where just the bases of the standpipe remain, I would consider that one to be destroyed. If I saw one like that, I wouldn't log it as a find because the marker itself (the standpipe) is gone.

 

Same with the fire tower. If "marker type" says fire tower and the fire tower is gone, it's destroyed (and I wouldn't count it as found). If there is a triangulation station disk where the tower used to be, then most likely the disk has a separate PID and data sheet. I haven't found anything like that yet, but if I did, I'd try to find the correct PID for the disk.

 

I would put a note (and photos) with each one telling what I found.

 

Those are just my opinions on the situations, though. I've seen several differing opinions on examples like the ones listed above. It's up to each person to decide what's right for them when it comes to logging them here at this site (as opposed to logging them at the NGS site, where they have set requirements).

 

quote:
Originally posted by Trailblazer # 1:

 

It seems there are always those little gliches eh....


 

Hehe...little glitches are the name of the game! Without them, life would be one big, monotonous bore. icon_wink.gif

 

Dac

 

---------

Goodbye twenties, hello minivan.

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MountainMudbug -

 

Here's the deal. Many stations are associated with 1, 2, 3 or 4 reference marks and an azimuth mark (referred to as RM1, RM2, AZ, etc.) These clusters of benchmark disks (or whatever kinds of markers) are of two types:

 

1. Only the main station has a PID number associated with it. RM1, RM2, AZ, etc. have no individual PID numbers for themselves.

 

2. The main station has a PID. RM1 also has it's own PID. Perhaps so do RM2 and the azimuth mark. There may even be 3 or 4 PID's for the cluster.

 

In case #1, you log "found it" ONLY if you find the main station. If you find only the disks of RM1, and/or RM2, etc., you log "not found". With your "not found" you can include pictures of RM1, RM2, etc.

 

In case #2, you count each PID separately. For instance, if the main station's PID is AJ2034 and it's RM3 has it's own PID - AJ2035, and you find both, you log two "found it"s! Also, if you can't find the main station, AJ2034, but you do find RM3, you log "not found" for AJ2034 and "found it" for AJ2035.

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Declaren -

 

I agree, if the station is described as the TOP of a firetower and the tower is gone, then I count it as not found, even if I find all 4 foundation posts or any other part of the tower. Such is the case for this tower PID, where I posted a note. I found WHERE the station HAD been, but did not find IT.

 

By the way, the tower was described in 1928 as a permanent structure.

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Trackers, thanks for the good examples! That clears my confusion nicely.

 

_________________________________________________________________

Even when I've gotten there I don't know where I am.

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quote:
Originally posted by Black Dog Trackers:

In case #1, you log "found it" ONLY if you find the main station. If you find only the disks of RM1, and/or RM2, etc., you log "not found". With your "not found" you can include pictures of RM1, RM2, etc.


 

According to whom? Not according to Jeremy. There is nothing listed on the Groundspeak benchmark site to support your position. I made a point of having this clarified early on to avoid the ambiguity.

 

If an individual prefers to adhere to a stricter standard than that which has been stated by Jeremy, that's fine. But don't tell others they are doing it "wrong" because they don't agree with you.

 

25021_1200.gif

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Web-ling -

 

1. According to surveytech in this post, he says that reporting a find when you don't find the main station "would be very misleading".

 

2. According to this poll, most geocachers' opinion is that a find should only be registered if the main station is found. In another post on the topic of the definition of what constitutes "destroyed", Jeremy stated that it is for the community to decide. Therefore, I think he'd probably go along with the poll on this one since his original statement that you referenced is 4 months previous to the poll.

 

By the way, I did not use the word "wrong" in my post.

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quote:
Originally posted by Black Dog Trackers:

Web-ling -

 

1. According to surveytech in this post, he says that reporting a find when you don't find the main station "would be very misleading".


It's not misleading as long as you explain in your log what you did or didn't find. Please also note that surveytech has never logged a benchmark or cache on this site.

 

quote:

2. According to this poll, most geocachers' opinion is that a find should only be registered if the main station is found. In another post on the topic of the definition of what constitutes "destroyed", Jeremy stated that it is for the community to decide. Therefore, I think he'd probably go along with the poll on this one since his original statement that you referenced is 4 months previous to the poll.


My point is that there is precident for my viewpoint from the very begining of benchmarking on this site. The entire reason I posted the question clear back in May is that I wanted the issue clarified from the start. Jeremy stated his position. He owns the site. Until Jeremy changes his position, I see no problem with logging based on only finding a RM.

quote:

By the way, I did not use the word "wrong" in my post.


No, but you did call it an "error." According to Jeremy's statement, it is not an "error." I apologize for misquoting you.

 

My point is that although you, as well as 80% of the respondants to the poll you referenced, are perfectly free to log benchmarks any way you choose. So are the rest of us. The standard originally stated by Jeremy is that the main mark can be logged as a find even if only the RMs are actually located. As far as I'm concerned, until Jeremy changes the standard, it is not an "error" to log them as a find.

 

Unlike geocaches, there is no "owner" for benchmarks (other than the agency which placed it.) In geocaching, the "owner" defines what is or isn't a find. Benchmarks are not geocaches, therefore the rules are somewhat different.

 

You can log 'em the way you want; I'll log 'em the way I want. We can agree to disagree. When Groundspeak makes formal rules, I'll be happy to abide by them. Until then, please don't tell me I'm in "error."

 

25021_1200.gif

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I didn't use the word "error" at all, nor did I say anything at all about you.

 

Actually, my vote in that poll was one of the 3 in favor of logging a find if any of the reference marks are found. However, after the poll, and reading the associated comments in its thread, I changed to reflect the poll's results and went back to check all I had done to change any to "not found" in case I only found a reference mark and didn't find the main station.

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This is a topic that has gotten many posts in the benchmark forum. As you can see from this post of mine, I do see the merits of both sides of this issue. icon_smile.gif Until there are formal rules here, I do agree that we can certainly agree to disagree on this and proceed both ways.

 

At this point however, it might be good to have a a more formal ruling on this since we now are an official NGS contributor.

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quote:
Originally posted by Black Dog Trackers:

At this point however, it might be good to have a a more formal ruling on this since we now are an official NGS contributor.


 

I've been following this discussion with some interest. And while I don't agree with Web-ling, I absolutely agree with his decision to log however he wants to. But let's not confuse logging to GC with logging to NGS. We are discussing logging to GC. Providing recovery reports to the NGS requires adherence to NGS guidelines, different from GC, which is the responsibility of the person posting to follow. We are going to have many people posting only a few finds here at GC and I don't want to discourage them, after all, in the end, it's only a game. If they enjoy it enough to seek out the NGS, they will find stricter guidelines. The link between GC and NGS is not automatic, it requires someone to post at both places.

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These are the definitions the BLM uses on the ones (corners) monuments, that can't be found either lost or obliterated,never destroyed...but..on the benchmarks that is the reason for the many reference marks is if they are lost or obliterated they can be placed by the measurements from the others,so when you find one the others are in the direct vicinity and can be reset to the correct measurements.We are all new at this and can learn what is the professional(proper),way to log the BM's,RM's and all them's icon_eek.gificon_biggrin.gificon_eek.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_biggrin.gificon_eek.gif

 

When all else fails Geotry again.

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Lost means gone without a trace and is equivalent to destroyed.

 

Obliterated means gone but some related evidence remains and is equivalent to not found.

 

However, these are boundary surveying terms, which are not typically used in geodetic surveying, so they are not really relevant to benchmark hunting.

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These monuments of the BLM (PLSS) Public Land Survey System are Survey discs just as are the USGS discs,and are benchmarks of the Department of the Interior.These are the ones that I refer to in my threads about not in this data base,These are 3rd order.These monuments are also the base of the USGS and other higher order Surveys.

1. lost, monument gone,the place still remains, 2. obliterated,partial remains of the monument,place remains.That is why they all have durable reference points.

A Point in the right direction,ASCENSION.

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quote:
Originally posted by Black Dog Trackers:

I didn't use the word "error" at all, nor did I say anything at all about you.


 

Oops, sorry. It is Criminal's poll question that contains the word "error". I need to pay more attention to who I am replying to.

 

25021_1200.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by RogBarn:

But let's not confuse logging to GC with logging to NGS. We are discussing logging to GC. Providing recovery reports to the NGS requires adherence to NGS guidelines, different from GC, which is the responsibility of the person posting to follow. We are going to have many people posting only a few finds here at GC and I don't want to discourage them, after all, in the end, it's only a game. If they enjoy it enough to seek out the NGS, they will find stricter guidelines. The link between GC and NGS is not automatic, it requires someone to post at both places.


Agreed. I would NEVER post a station as having been recovered at the NGS site when the main station has not been found. The NGS site and GC site are two entirely different things. One is an official government agency used primarily by professionals. The other is a game. The standards are entirely different. When I post anything at the NGS site, I'm always absolutely certain I'm strictly adhering to their criteria. If I'm not positive I'm doing it correctly, I don't post anything. At the GC site, there currently is no strict published criteria, so I've been logging based on Jeremy's comments in several of the earliest threads. His comments indicated that the criteria for what he considered a "find" is considerably looser than the NGS standards. The whole point is to go out and have fun.

 

If and when Jeremy posts "official" criteria for what constitutes a "find," I'll happily adjust the way I log benchmarks. Until then, I'm not going to worry about it too much.

 

25021_1200.gif

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Having the times of our lives I hope that I do not seem to be a 4*** *8** it* ,After all you are right it is a game here. All my concerns are that someone, somewhere says that we aint doin it right. We all aspire to higher learning and that is all that I hope that I present to yall uns in these fun forums. I am still seeking out bench's for the personal gain of the field work.I have recoverd several 100's of the original points and the current survey controls to it.It has always interested me being some what of a mathmatics nut ,A job that disabled me from the mercury meters that I use to calibrate.This is a way for me to still measure something and the earth is pretty big it might take a while to get it done he he, many happy Geotrails to all....

 

A Point in the right direction,ASCENSION.

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