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Finding, Not Finding, Not bothering to find, Destroyed?


WingArcher
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I'm wondering what the specifics in the survey world are for "finding", or "not finding" a monument. This afternoon during my "adventure" (see other post from today) I positively found a chiseled square, and positively found a copper bolt to be destroyed (the end of the culvert it was described to be in was in a pile at the bottom of the creek!). Other monuments have been less cut & dry.

If I find it, and take its picture, and the stamping matches the description, and the location matches the description (closely enough) I found it, no argument there!

However, if I don't find it... we can only say that I didn't find it! We can't necessarily say that it can't be found. However, in some cases, we can be certain of a marks destruction, and say that it has been destroyed, thus it can't be found. What I'm getting at is this:

What is the professional take on the "Well, we couldn't find it" situation? Some marks just aren't willing to be found, but neither is there concrete evidence of destruction!

 

I'd like to see the "couldn't find" log option replaced with "destroyed/not findable". I've been using the note option to denote this situation, and not logging marks that I just couldn't find that day. What is your thought process when faced with these situations?

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Since I'm new to start logging Benchmarks I have little to say about it, but would like to share an experience. This last week, my grandson and I were Benchmarking while waiting for someone. We found a benchmark that was listed as lost and "reset" in 1958. We first found the reset mark and when talking to a local who worked in the library right where the mark was set in the concrete by the front door. (She didn't know it was there because of a rain downspout). We learned that a benchmark had been found when removing a building which had fallen down many, many years ago. A new building was built in it's place and the original benchmark had been attached to the front wall. Now the problem arises that now there are two benchmarks with the same number, except one is the "reset" mark, and the other is the original, so there is no place to enter both. I wrote a letter to "Geocaching" seeking a resolve or advice and received a letter saying: "cool". So there is another problem that could be addressed; double benchmarks but no place to log them both. Or is there?

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My opinion is that if you find the marker (or, in the case of some triangulation disks, any of the markers), count it as a find on the Groundspeak benchmarking site. If you actually looked for it, but couldn't find it, log a not found. Save notes for comments not associated with an actual hunt.

 

As far as logging at the NGS site, only log a find if you actually found it and if it hasn't been logged in the last couple of years, or if the description of the area has changed. I wouldn't log a not found unless you're absolutely sure it's not there. Never log that a disk is destroyed unless you actually see the destroyed disk.

 

25021_1200.gif

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Webling is correct that one should not declare a marker destroyed unless one actually witnesses its removal or finds it laying on the ground. In some cases, the area may have changed so dramatically that the marker cannot possibly be found. A note may be filed describing this situation.

 

Wing Archer is correct that a marker is only found if one can positively match the markings on it to the description. In many cases, one may find a different marker than the one being hunted. Local agencies frequently set additional markers very near existing ones.

 

The situation described by S&M is uncommon but not completely unheard of. Construction crews may notice a marker only after they have detroyed it. They will sometimes try to reset it, hoping to avoid blame. Of course, they never put it back in exactly the same place, so it is worthless, unless a surveyor is notified and detemines the new location and/or elevation. Local surveyors usually soon discover such situations, and establish new coordinates and elevation for the reset marker. In some cases, where a Triangulation Station is destroyed but one of its reference disks survives, the reference disk becomes the new Tri-Station, and therefore gets its own PID number.

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I have found similar situations with some of my recent benchmark attempts. I have taken to trying to locate and confirm the existance or destruction of some marks on a former Navy Base near me. There are about 5 or 6 benchmarks on the former base. Control Tower, Water Tower. East Gate, South Gate, Operations Building and a steam box near the base hospital. I recently made a trip through the area trying to see if any marks could be there and to determine the accessability to them. I found that the Ops building and control tower with the rotating beacon is still there but has been gutted. It is going to be incorporated into a new shopping center. I don't know in that case if the benchmark still exists or if it was removed with some of the renovation of the building. The South Gate Guard house is gone so I suspect the marker is gone as well, since it was mounted vertical in a wall. I assume that the hospital area is gone as well but didn't go through that area on my last trip through. The East Gate area is a 2 foot concrete post 2' from the fence line. That might still be there. I didn't notice if the water tower still exists but don't recall seeing it in a while.

 

I too, logged my findings and photos, for now, as information. I intend to contact the developer and see if I can get permission to go and see if some of the markers might still exist on the remaining buildings. Another problem I encountered is that a couple markers might be in posted areas where there is a penelty for tresspassing. I hope I can get permission for those sites as well.

 

My thought, based on this situation and the likelyhood that some markers and landmarks are gone, is that there should, in addition to "Not Found", be a selection for confirmed destroyed. For example, I can almost certainly say that the South Guard House is GONE. I believe the hospital location would be gone as well and probably the water tower. The water tower was a prominent site from many main thouroghfares and the fact that I haven't noticed it in so long seems to indicate that it would be gone.

 

I also have this suggestion. In addition to marks found, there should also be an indication of marks confirmed destroyed or removed and a listing of your last 10 Benchmark log entries regardless of if they are not found or information or found. Situations such as mine and yours, I think, indicate that the same effort and success in locating a benchmark can also exist where a person can confirm and document that a marker or landmark is gone. In my situation, I intend to try, if possible, to locate the exact point of the listed benchmark and take a waypoint and photo of that spot. With benchmark data, and a tape measure, in some cases you can still measure out to find the exact spot. For example, if the location of a benchmark is in a monument located on the E side of the entry of X street and is 16.5' N from the center line of Washington Blvd and 8' from East curb X Street, 3' West from a water main shut off and is mounted vertically 4.6 feet from the ground, then you should be able to measure off the location of the marker and photograph and take a waypoint to show that it is not there.

 

I think this site is great and do not wish to make things too difficult but I think that to make the Benchmark logging more interesting and valuable a recognition of searchers efforts to not just find but also confirm destroyed the benchmarks should be noted. I think positive confirmation of destroyed is just as significant as finding the benchmark. Especially if the finder can document that destruction or removal.

 

The log entry that I filed for the South Gate is,

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=NG0246

 

Control Towerand Beacon,

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=NG0533

 

Terminal and Ops Building,

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=NG0248

 

 

quote:
Originally posted by WingArcher:

I'm wondering what the specifics in the survey world are for "finding", or "not finding" a monument. This afternoon during my "adventure" (see other post from today) I positively found a chiseled square, and positively found a copper bolt to be destroyed (the end of the culvert it was described to be in was in a pile at the bottom of the creek!). Other monuments have been less cut & dry.

If I find it, and take its picture, and the stamping matches the description, and the location matches the description (closely enough) I found it, no argument there!

However, if I don't find it... we can only say that I didn't find it! We can't necessarily say that it can't be found. However, in some cases, we can be certain of a marks destruction, and say that it has been destroyed, thus it can't be found. What I'm getting at is this:

What is the professional take on the "Well, we couldn't find it" situation? Some marks just aren't willing to be found, but neither is there concrete evidence of destruction!

 

I'd like to see the "couldn't find" log option replaced with "destroyed/not findable". I've been using the note option to denote this situation, and not logging marks that I just couldn't find that day. What is your thought process when faced with these situations?


 

[This message was edited by wmas1960 on August 11, 2002 at 06:16 PM.]

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Noting your comments I have a question. You seem pretty knowlegable of surveying etc. In my previous posts I mention a water tower, steam box and a guard house that were marks or where marks were mounted into them. How would you treat such a situation when, say in my situation with the South Gate Guard House, where I got into the gate, stopped at the intersection and the entire area is a vacant field? Obviously the marker that was SET VERTICALLY IN THE NORTH FACE OF THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF THE BRICK WALL AT THE SOUTH GATE GUARD HOUSE, 1 FOOT WEST OF THE NORTHEAST CORNER AND 2.5 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND. As you can see from the photos I posted, there is clearly no guard house there anymore. The gate, with it's red lights, is still there. The waypoint that is listed is 157' East of where I parked the car. That would indicate that I was in the correct location but the field is clearly empty.

 

Also, what is the procedure with markers that are drilled and mounted into the face of a monument or building when that building or monument is removed or destroyed. Do they take the marker and locate it in a post or concrete block at the site in accordance with the recorded location? Or do they remove it entirely?

 

I would point out that I don't intend to file my findings with NGS because I am not that experienced and don't think my data is specific or complete enough to be of value to them. Or am I wrong. My questions and points are relative to posting on Geocaching.com where the location and determination of these markers is more of a hobby and for fun. I do not want to give bad information to people but I think in context with this hobby, game or whatever you would classify it, I think posting the known and confirmed non-existance of a marker is of interest and help to other hunters.

 

quote:
Originally posted by survey tech:

Webling is correct that one should not declare a marker destroyed unless one actually witnesses its removal or finds it laying on the ground. In some cases, the area may have changed so dramatically that the marker cannot possibly be found. A note may be filed describing this situation.

 

Wing Archer is correct that a marker is only found if one can positively match the markings on it to the description. In many cases, one may find a different marker than the one being hunted. Local agencies frequently set additional markers very near existing ones.

 

The situation described by S&M is uncommon but not completely unheard of. Construction crews may notice a marker only after they have detroyed it. They will sometimes try to reset it, hoping to avoid blame. Of course, they never put it back in exactly the same place, so it is worthless, unless a surveyor is notified and detemines the new location and/or elevation. Local surveyors usually soon discover such situations, and establish new coordinates and elevation for the reset marker. In some cases, where a Triangulation Station is destroyed but one of its reference disks survives, the reference disk becomes the new Tri-Station, and therefore gets its own PID number.


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quote:
Originally posted by WingArcher:

I'd like to see the "couldn't find" log option replaced with "destroyed/not findable".


 

I don't think replacing "couldn't find" would be the right way to go... just because you can't find one, it doesn't mean it has been destroyed, or that someone else won't be able to find it.

 

I think you're doing the best thing by just posting a note... I can't remember what the options are for benchmarks - is it 1) found 2) couldn't find and 3) post a note?

 

If so, I think posting a note that it is destroyed is the best bet. Because you didn't exactly find it, but you didn't exactly NOT find it either. icon_smile.gif

 

Adding a "destroyed" selection would possibly cause trouble though - you'd have to really trust the searchers to KNOW what the benchmark was supposed to be, and if it had indeed been destroyed.

 

--==< http://home.columbus.rr.com/rubbertoe >==--

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quote:
Originally posted by WingArcher:

I'd like to see the "couldn't find" log option replaced with "destroyed/not findable".


 

I don't think replacing "couldn't find" would be the right way to go... just because you can't find one, it doesn't mean it has been destroyed, or that someone else won't be able to find it.

 

I think you're doing the best thing by just posting a note... I can't remember what the options are for benchmarks - is it 1) found 2) couldn't find and 3) post a note?

 

If so, I think posting a note that it is destroyed is the best bet. Because you didn't exactly find it, but you didn't exactly NOT find it either. icon_smile.gif

 

Adding a "destroyed" selection would possibly cause trouble though - you'd have to really trust the searchers to KNOW what the benchmark was supposed to be, and if it had indeed been destroyed.

 

--==< http://home.columbus.rr.com/rubbertoe >==--

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Wow - I've just read through all the posts in this thread, and I have to say that I'm kinda amazed by the amount of concern and thought that some folks are putting into this - especially when the finds or non-finds aren't going to be logged anywhere but here.

 

My suggestion - do what you believe is right when it comes to logging a find, or a non-find. Don't worry what others consider to be right or wrong... develop your own 'standard' of what you would consider a found marker, and go with it.

 

I've already decided that if I find a marker that has been destroyed, or moved, or somehow altered from exactly how it was supposed to be... I've decided that I will count it as a find.

 

If I don't see anything there, I won't claim it of course - but if I see the busted remains of a concrete pillar, with a disc shaped hole where something is obviously missing, I will call that a find. That's just how I've decided to play the game.

 

For example - here is a damaged/destroyed marker which I claimed as a find. See if you would have done the same: Damaged Marker

 

I believe it was the marker in question, due to its precise location - as well as the fact that there'd be no reason for this big "thing" to be at this location where nothing else like it was.

 

--==< http://home.columbus.rr.com/rubbertoe >==--

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I don't think any of the choices should be replaced. In fact, more should be added for the benchmarks.

 

O Found It!

O Couldn't find it!

O The structure it was on no longer exists.

O Destroyed - I found its remains.

O Destroyed - only a hole in the cement.

O Post a note.

 

Any number of radio buttons can be added of course. Too many choices would be absurd, but I think benchmarks deserve a couple more.

 

Any other suggestions/wording?

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I agree that the existing classifications shouldn't be changed or eliminated. I would also be concerned that adding too many more wouldn't be great either and could even add more confusion. I do think that a couple new classifications would be helpful.

 

I do believe the current choices are

 

Found

 

Not Found

 

Post a Note

 

Or something like that. I would suggest adding,

 

Destroyed Moved or Demolished

 

Which I would suggest should be accompanied with some photos or other evidance that the benchmark or landmark has actually been Moved Destroyed or Demolished. My example of the South Gate Guard House at the nearby former navy base can pretty safely be determined to be gone. Since the marker was located a few feet from the ground, vertically in the face of a brick wall it would be safe to say it is gone too. That, however, is why I asked the question of what they do when they are destroying a marker location. Do they retire the marker or do they resurvey and relocate it in the same spot, say on a post or something. I didn't notice such a post, monument or concrete block in the area and I could not get any closer than 157' due to tresspassing signs. That is why, before I say it actually IS NOT THERE, I posted as a note to the log and I want to get permission to walk the site or get someone with the developer to confirm the removal of the mark.

 

Another possible classification might be

 

Damaged, Disloged or Stolen.

 

For this classification you would be indicating that the evidance is there that the markers location was found but the marker is not mounted or present. Or, that the marker is there but somebody damaged or vanalized it beyond use. In your notation for this you could say, marker found loose and unmounted, laying on the ground. Or, Hole is present where marker should be. Marker not present and could not be located. Or, Maybe, Monument, bridge, tower, witness post... plaque found but there is an empty hole where marker should be. Marker not found.

 

In any case, where you find what you believe to be a location of a marker and you can't find the actual marker, you should also include your waypoint for where you found evidence of a missing marker. You should also do that when you find an actual marker since the waypoints provided can often be off and inaccurate.

 

I would also like to suggest that in the case of my two suggested additions to the classifications, these selections should be treated as the same as if the marker was found, relating to the players record. Or at least tallied separately, say Found/Confirmed Missing or Destroyed. If a player confirms the location and can show evidence that the marker no longer exists, that should be valuable and significant for their record.

 

Lastly, I would emphasize that the last two classifications should only be used when you find conclusive evidance that the location WAS found but the marker is not present, is damaged or disloged. In one case with the total absence of a landmark post or other object that the marker was reported to be mounted in or on. Or, say, using one of my other examples. If I go out looking for the base water tower and the tower is not there, that is obviously a destroyed moved or demolished marker since the tower itself was the marker.

 

On the other hand, If you go to a place looking for a marker that is supposed to be in a field and mounted in a concrete block or post flush with the ground, and you do not find it, and the field appears to be unimproved or regraded etc.,

you should not post it as lost or destroyed or stolen... It could be that natural movement of soil or growth of grass etc. has covered the marker. You might consider getting a metal detector and going back. Remember, in some cases you might have to dig a few inches to actually find a marker. Unless you can without any doubt determine that you found the location and that the marker is not there than you should log the marker as NOT FOUND.

 

For now though, absent these types of classifications I would think you have no choice but to post as a note to the log.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Black Dog Trackers:

I don't think any of the choices should be replaced. In fact, more should be added for the benchmarks.

 

O Found It!

O Couldn't find it!

O The structure it was on no longer exists.

O Destroyed - I found its remains.

O Destroyed - only a hole in the cement.

O Post a note.

 

Any number of radio buttons can be added of course. Too many choices would be absurd, but I think benchmarks deserve a couple more.

 

Any other suggestions/wording?


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quote:
Originally posted by Rubbertoe:

For example - here is a damaged/destroyed marker which I claimed as a find. See if you would have done the same: http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=JY1708

 

I believe it was the marker in question, due to its precise location - as well as the fact that there'd be no reason for this big "thing" to be at this location where nothing else like it was.


 

I don't think I'd claim it as a find, because the description of the original mark says the concrete post is 10" in diameter and set 2" below grade. Unless you've had some serious erosion there recently, that probably isn't your mark.

 

warm.gif

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I have just been reading a similar thread under the topic of General here on the Grondspeak group. I thought I would post reference to a reply that I have made and to the topic in general. It mentions some interesteing views about the Not Found classifications and peoples hesitance or even refusal to log not founds. It has got me thinking a little more of my previously stated postitions about catagories for log entries. It, of course, relates to Geocaches but some of the comments may, somewhat apply here.

 

quote:
posted August 12, 2002 07:42 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have been taking to searching more for benchmarks so far than going after the, ony 3 or 4, caches close to me. There are more of them and they offer some interesting experiences due to the historical nature and scenic placement of some of them. They, of course, are a little different but your point is somewhat relevent there too. If I actively set out to FIND the mark, GPS in hand and the clue sheets with me than, if I don't find the mark I might be inclined to post a NF...


 

The actual thread is located at,

http://opentopic.Groundspeak.com/0/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=1750973553&f=3000917383&m=9860986925&r=7000921035#7000921035

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WMAS

I appreciate your concern and applaud your efforts to do a thorough job of searching and documenting. You could investigate further by trying to find someone who may have had specific knowledge of the locations of those markers or who was present at the demolition, but even this may no longer be possible. A lot of the markers certified as destroyed include notes saying something like "...informed by Captain Jones that he had certain knowledge of the station and that the wall containing the station was demolished about 10 years ago...". Markers that are destroyed during demolition are virtually never replaced in the same exact location. In cases where the demolition is anticipated, additional markers are usually set in safe locations in the vicinity, using the existing ones before they are lost, so that the area will not be left without any control points. When markers are removed without first being replaced, it can be very time consuming and very expensive to re-establish control in an area through the use of other points which are sometimes miles away. If you want to get some idea of the cost, just call a local surveyor and tell him that all your property corners have been knocked out and you want an estimate of what it would cost to do a complete boundary survey of your property and reset them. Multiply that number several times, depending on the size of your property, and you will see what I mean.

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

I don't think I'd claim it as a find, because the description of the original mark says the concrete post is 10" in diameter and set 2" below grade. Unless you've had some serious erosion there recently, that probably isn't your mark.


 

Where did you read that info? I checked out the page as well as the original data sheet and didn't see that description... perhaps you could point me to where you read that. And, as for that big thing I'm holding up there, it shows signs of having been buried up to its neck - dirt and discoloration and such. That's why it struck me as being the right object - and it was also broken at its base, which seemed to match the description given by the last official people to seek it.

 

Here's the link again for those who wanna look: Marker - Click Me

 

I don't wanna lose a find! icon_biggrin.gif I can't imagine what else it would be - it is exactly where the marker should be, and this is on top of a big hill/mountain thing, where things like this wouldn't just naturally show up. icon_smile.gif

 

Here I am, sitting on the edge of this big rock/hill/mountain/place... Mt Pleasant - Lancaster, OH

 

--==< http://home.columbus.rr.com/rubbertoe >==--

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

I don't think I'd claim it as a find, because the description of the original mark says the concrete post is 10" in diameter and set 2" below grade. Unless you've had some serious erosion there recently, that probably isn't your mark.


 

Where did you read that info? I checked out the page as well as the original data sheet and didn't see that description... perhaps you could point me to where you read that. And, as for that big thing I'm holding up there, it shows signs of having been buried up to its neck - dirt and discoloration and such. That's why it struck me as being the right object - and it was also broken at its base, which seemed to match the description given by the last official people to seek it.

 

Here's the link again for those who wanna look: Marker - Click Me

 

I don't wanna lose a find! icon_biggrin.gif I can't imagine what else it would be - it is exactly where the marker should be, and this is on top of a big hill/mountain thing, where things like this wouldn't just naturally show up. icon_smile.gif

 

Here I am, sitting on the edge of this big rock/hill/mountain/place... Mt Pleasant - Lancaster, OH

 

--==< http://home.columbus.rr.com/rubbertoe >==--

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I've hunted 10 now and found 6 of them. Out of the 4 I haven't found, I'm only logging one of them as "Couldn't find it". I believe it was removed/destroyed when a road was widened. The other ones, although I didn't find them the first time, I was not as prepared as I could have been, so I will go back and continue looking. For those, I'll post a note mentioning my visit and that I intend to look further before declaring them "Couldn't find it". I'll only report recovered ones to the USGS, unless my not found met the conditions listed by surveytech. I certainly think there are some I won't find that ARE still there.

 

Greg

N 39° 54.705'

W 77° 33.137'

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Well done, Greg, thanks for your support. You are right that there is no shame in not finding some of the ones you look for. In fact, the use of surveying equipment is sometimes necessary to make a final determination. This will vary quite a bit, depending mainly upon the conditions in your area and how old the markers you look for are, but overall a long term success rate over 50% is outstanding.

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I have nailed 4 of them with positive Id and posted them as Found to the database here. I have even reported my first one to the UGS and its already included in their database. icon_smile.gif (Even though I still have need of sharpening my description skills.)

 

As for the few I have searched for and not found, I have reported them as Not-Found only to here. I am not confident enough in my skill to report them not-found to the UGS database.

 

When I report them not-found here, Ill also explain why. For example I just had one where I found the witness post, and the disk was to be 1.5 feet east of it. Not to hard to locate right? Well the problem was in the last few years some construction had built up a gravel and dirt burm right where the disk was to be found.. After kicking a little gravel around with my shoe, I decided that digging would be required. Knowing that "digging" is a no-no in catching, I figured digging would not be appreciated in benchmarking either (without permission anywho) So while I knew I was within 1.5 feet, and all the other distance references were right, i did not lay eyes on the disk. To me, in the setting of this venue (geocatching.com sport/game/etc.) thats a Not-found. I could possibly see it as just a "note", but here, to me "Not-Found" means "I" could not find it, not that it isnt findable; but ill ask for others views here?

 

From a UGS point of view, I might possibly see it being usefull data reporting the surrounding area changes (the gas station referenced is gone, its now a brown's chicken, but I don't know if its the same building or not, the witness post is there but the area of the mark is covered in gravel/earth, etc) though i think that this is not overly valid data without actually confirming the mark or lack thereof. Comments?

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I have nailed 4 of them with positive Id and posted them as Found to the database here. I have even reported my first one to the UGS and its already included in their database. icon_smile.gif (Even though I still have need of sharpening my description skills.)

 

As for the few I have searched for and not found, I have reported them as Not-Found only to here. I am not confident enough in my skill to report them not-found to the UGS database.

 

When I report them not-found here, Ill also explain why. For example I just had one where I found the witness post, and the disk was to be 1.5 feet east of it. Not to hard to locate right? Well the problem was in the last few years some construction had built up a gravel and dirt burm right where the disk was to be found.. After kicking a little gravel around with my shoe, I decided that digging would be required. Knowing that "digging" is a no-no in catching, I figured digging would not be appreciated in benchmarking either (without permission anywho) So while I knew I was within 1.5 feet, and all the other distance references were right, i did not lay eyes on the disk. To me, in the setting of this venue (geocatching.com sport/game/etc.) thats a Not-found. I could possibly see it as just a "note", but here, to me "Not-Found" means "I" could not find it, not that it isnt findable; but ill ask for others views here?

 

From a UGS point of view, I might possibly see it being usefull data reporting the surrounding area changes (the gas station referenced is gone, its now a brown's chicken, but I don't know if its the same building or not, the witness post is there but the area of the mark is covered in gravel/earth, etc) though i think that this is not overly valid data without actually confirming the mark or lack thereof. Comments?

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