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(NGS) Revised Photo Description Guidelines


PFF

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From the NGS home page. Dark red highlighting added to some text for emphasis. Edited to remove naming convention for new stations (no PID).

 

Purpose

 

This document clarifies how passive mark photos (Bluebooking and Benchmark Recovery) are to be formatted and validated, given the configuration of the current National Geodetic Survey Integrated Database (NGSIDB) loading software. User requirements, software, loading procedures, and outreach should support the goals outlined below. Note: This document does not intend to supersede any contract requirements or preclude future improvements to the loading process, nor does it address the submission of photos of CORS stations or the use of photos in the newly developed OPUS-Projects software.

 

 

Why store photos?

 

Photos are optional, valuable addenda to survey control, capturing mark identification and setting condition and quality information useful for data processing, mark recovery, and appraisal for future use.

 

 

Resolution and format:

 

Photos should have a resolution no larger than 1024 x 768 pixels; photos that are too large will be automatically resized upon upload to the NGSIDB. Orientation (landscape vs portrait) and extents are unimportant, but the photo should be rotated to open in a heads-up view. The .JPG format is preferred, but not required as all images are converted to .JPG format upon uploading into NGSIDB.

 

 

Content:

 

As photos will be available to the public, the subject matter shall be in good taste and professional in nature. Photos of questionable quality or content, including possible privacy or copyright concerns, or distracting detail (personnel, company logos, etc.) will be rejected during a pre-load review by NGS.

 

 

Requirements:

 

Photos are optional. However, should a user wish to submit them, then NGS encourages (but does not require) that each mark have a minimum of 3 photos, consisting of a close up, eye level and horizontal type. These are described below. The submitted photos must follow the naming convention laid out later in this document or they will not be loaded.

 

Photo types:

 

CLOSE-UP - A photo taken directly above the survey mark, approximately 18 inches away from the disk. Remove any equipment, dirt, debris, water, or snow to show a clear image of the complete mark. Avoid shadow lines crossing the disk. If there is a logo cap, the logo cap should be open to show the datum point. The intent of this photo is to clearly show the mark, its condition, and all stamping on the mark or logo cap so that it is clearly legible.

 

AB6219-BWI_D-1-20071030.jpg

 

EYE-LEVEL - A photo taken directly above the survey mark from eye level to show the monument and cover an area about 1 meter in radius, all around the mark. Remove any equipment, dirt, debris, water, or snow from the mark to clearly show the disk and the setting. If it has a logo cap, the logo cap should be open to show the datum point. The intent of this photo is to show the general condition of the mark and the immediate surrounding area, especially any condition that would be a threat to the stability or permanency of the mark.

 

AB6219-BWI_D-2-20071030.jpg

 

HORIZONTAL - A daylight photo oriented horizontally, with the tripod or a target highlighting the mark location, and with reference objects, significant obstructions, or possible multi-path sources in view. Remember to record the direction the photo is facing.

 

AB6219-BWI_D-3NE-20071030.jpg

 

 

File names

 

Provide each photo as an individual digital file, using the file name to identify the content. The general format for file names is PID- DESIGNATION- TYPE- DATE.jpg

 

  • PID is the NGS ID for the mark, if any, e.g., AB1234. For new marks without PIDs, leave this blank and begin the file name with the designation.
  • DESIGNATION is the official name for the mark, up to 25 characters.
  • TYPE Use -1- for close-up, -2- for eye-level, and -3DIR- for horizontal photos, with DIR indicating the direction the photo is facing, e.g., 3ENE for east-northeastward-looking. NOTE: a direction is required for horizontal photos due to the current configuration of the NGSIDB
  • DATE is the date photographed, in YYYYMMDD format.
  • Use dashes "-"to separate the above fields. Spaces are not permitted in the file name. Use an underscore "_" in lieu of spaces within fields. These separators are required to minimize UNIX file handling problems.

Examples of photos taken on 31 January 2006:

 

Existing Marks (with PID)

 

'AB1234-SMITH_RM_2-1-20060131.jpg' is a close-up photo of NGS mark AB1234

'AB1234-SMITH_RM_2-2-20060131.jpg' is an eye-level photo

'AB1234-SMITH_RM_2-3N-20060131.jpg' is a horizon photo looking north

'AB1234-SMITH_RM_2-3SW-20060131.jpg' is a horizon photo looking southwest

'AB1234-SMITH_RM_2-3ENE-20060131.jpg' is a horizon photo looking east-northeast

 

 

<a name="Captioning">Captioning

 

Captioning is optional, but if done, must conform to the following convention. Note that the PID is after the designation, spaces are used instead of underscores and commas are used to separate the data items instead of dashes.

 

Examples of photos taken on 31 January 2006:

 

Existing Marks (with PID)

 

'SMITH RM 2, AB1234, 1, 20060131' is a close-up photo of NGS mark AB1234

'SMITH RM 2, AB1234, 2, 20060131' is an eye-level photo

'SMITH RM 2, AB1234, 3N, 20060131' is a horizon photo looking north

'SMITH RM 2, AB1234, 3SW, 20060131' is a horizon photo looking southwest

'SMITH RM 2, AB1234, 3ENE, 20060131' is a horizon photo looking east-northeast

---To place or replace a caption using WinDesc or DSWorld while in the photo editor,

 

click 'EDIT>LABEL>STANDARD' from the main menu or press 'CTRL L'.

 

---Press 'CTRL S' to save the changes and exit.

 

Website Owner: National Geodetic Survey / Last modified by Burt Smith Dec 16 2011

Edited by PFF
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Just a little note, to add to PFF's post above. For anyone who doesn't utilize the program DSWorld, it will do all of the above editing correctly for you. It will rename your photo to NGS specs, and also place the proper formatted caption on the photo. You can also use the program to batch submit the photos after you have edited them to your satisfaction.

 

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PC_PROD/PARTNERS/index.shtml

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Thanks for the reminder about DSWORLD. I've made a New Year's resolution to conquer the program. It's downloaded to my computer and unzipped. So far, it won't connect to the server (times out), but I have trouble reaching NGS with IE, anyway. It takes a couple of tries before I get connected. Meanwhile, I assume a submission via DSWorld still goes in Deb's bucket for review.

 

Even though I have not been able to connect to the website, it is interesting to read the Help screens. I picked up a few tips from the Submit a Recovery screen--one of which I highlighted. (See below.} I notice that the sample report uses the convention of starting with the most distant object and working down to the closest.

 

-Paul-

 

To recover a geodetic control station, follow the the 'to reach' narrative of the description to reach the area of the mark. Next, measure the distances from nearby reference objects as stated in the description. Sometimes the mark may be covered by dirt, leaves, or debris. Some marks may be buried as much as 2 ft below the surface of the ground if the mark is in a plowed field.

 

Once the mark is found, check to see if the published description is adequate for future recovery. If not, make new measurements to nearby reference objects.

 

Good reference objects are house corners, utility poles, roadway centerlines, fences, unique trees, headstones, property markers, drainage pipes, ditches, bridges and other permanent structures. Use at least five reference objects if possible. Avoid trees that are not unique or are likely to be cut for timber. Avoid using more than one pole from the same utility (the utility company may move or remove all of their poles at the same time). When using corners of buildings, bridges or other large structures, state which corner is used. In all cases the center of the object is implied unless otherwise stated. The following is an example of the reference paragraph:

 

It is 50.6 feet northeast of the center of Blankenship Road, 35.2 feet Northwest of power pole number 235, 27.6 ft South-southeast of telephone pole number 2, 15.0 ft south of the headstone of Mildred E. Thompson, 3.0 ft Southwest of a witness post and set in the top of a 12-inch round concrete post flush with the ground.

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I've always had trouble with that "center of the object" distance. While it makes sense for a tree that will grow, it is not easy and simple to get accuracy to the center of a tree or pole with a tape. You either have to hold the tape at the side of the pole and guess where it is tangent, or else measure to the face of the pole,measure the circumference, and compute the radius to add on to the face measurement. So I'm inclined nowadays to just say "from face of pole".

 

The other problem is, where does that rule go away with bigger objects? You wouldn't expect the measurement to be to the center of a 30 ft diameter silo, but you would for an 8" diameter pole. So where is the dividing line?

 

How about non-circular objects. Did they measure to the center of the headstone in the example?

 

I like the photo guidelines, but will have to grit my teeth and bear with the captioning conventions. It seems strange that the caption puts things in a different order than the name.

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I like the photo guidelines, but will have to grit my teeth and bear with the captioning conventions. It seems strange that the caption puts things in a different order than the name.

 

..Yeah, something's wrong there. The two sample photos in the article that was posted actually have the captions in a DIFFERENT order than specified in the text..

..So which one is it?

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Good catch, folks!

 

 

December 28, 2011

 

Hi Burt,

 

In the new guidelines for submitting photographs, the text indicates that the order of information is PID-Designation-Type-Date. However, some sharp-eyed GEOCAC members noticed that the captions for the sample pictures show the Designation first, followed by the PID.

 

Does the text show the desired sequence? By the way, GEOCAC volunteers across the United States submitted 4,500 recovery reports during 2011, for a total of 60,000 since our group started reporting in 2005. We always take photographs of stations for our peer-review website (www.geocaching.com/mark). In the past two years, many of these pictures have found their way into the NGS data base, thanks to the efforts of Dave Doyle.

 

With the new photograph guidelines, we have a better grasp of what NGS is looking for, and you can expect to see even more recovery reports with pictures in the future.

 

Best regards,

 

Paul F,

 

GEOCAC (PFF)

 

Cary, North Carolina

 

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I asked this same question of Malcolm(DSWorld) back in April. Here is his reply:

 

From: Bobby Tedford [mailto:wmtire@yahoo.com]

Sent: Sunday, April 17, 2011 2:17 PM

To: Malcolm Archer-Shee

Subject: RE: DSWorld problem

 

Malcolm, I had a question for you, not that it's a big thing, but just

wondering if there was a reason for it. When using the photo editing part of

DSWorld, the program will save the name of the pic for you using your

parameters you stated for the pic. It names it by PID, Station name, Photo

type (1, 2,3), direction facing, and date.

 

However when you use the program to place a standard label on the pic, it

reverses the first two parameters and the label states Station name first,

then the PID.

 

Like I said, I was just wondering if there was a reason for this difference.

I was guessing that it had something to do with the way the NGS indexed the

information

 

Bobby

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

Bobby,

 

The naming and labeling requirements were established by the folks at NGS

that manage contracting. The logic, as I understand it, is that the name

was more important for the label (caption) than the PID, but the filename

had to begin with the PID for data processing purposes. It, unfortunately,

has caused some confusion among submitters. Note also that spaces and

commas are required in the caption but are not allowed in the name, again

for data processing purposes.

 

Malcolm

Edited by LSUFan
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DSWorld is a very powerful tool and even though it's easy to use there are so many tools imbedded in the program it can be a little daunting. I will be working with Malcolm Archer-Shee to have him host a brief webinar on this this program, hopefully sometime during the first part of the 2012. Once we have that scheduled I will post a note here.

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Just now beginning to get my feet wet in DSWorld (finally).

A couple of questions arise.

Should I/would it be helpful to submit photos even though there may not be a complete set? (my usual protocol has not been to take an eye-level shot)

I'm not sure this will even be possible given the fact that I haven't saved my own copies of the photos and would have to rely on what can be downloaded off the Geocaching server.

Should I/would it be helpful to go back and submit HH2 co-ordinates even if I included them in my recovery reports?

I haven't done an exhaustive check, but I have yet to see a mark's co-ordinates updated to HH2 based on my reports. Perhaps this is mostly due to my use of the traditional 'geocaching' format of DD MM.MMM rather than DD MM SS.S?

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Oy! So many questions!

I have HH2 co-ordinates for 1738 stations that I have recovered, in GSAK. I entered the co-ordinates in DD MM.MMM format, but I can change the format in GSAK to display DD MM SS.S. Unfortunately GSAK displays to two decimal places, and the HH2 accuracy is only good to one decimal second. I don't see any way to select the output decimal places to be used. Would the NGS round-off my co-ordinates if I upload to an excessive accuracy, or will my submissions be rejected entirely?

 

A spot-check reveals that some of the stations have been marked as destroyed, and some of the stations now have HH2 or even HH1 co-ordinates listed. Do I need to sort through the list and cull these out?

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If you use DSWorld you can enter your coordinates to one decimal place. If the mark in question already has an HH2 value then any new positions will be ignored. If you have the right equipment and can provide HH1 quality then that would update an HH2 position, but not an existing HH1. I'm going to assume that at this time you have not used DSWorld. Once you've downloaded the software and brought up the interface on the tool bar along the top you will see "Submit." If you select that you will get a drop-down menu where you can submit photos, recovery info, state/county corrections and hand-held positions. If you select hand-held positions you will be prompted for the station PID and the program will retrieve the existing info so you will see if it already has an HH2 position. If it only has a scaled value then all you need to do is enter the new coordinates and hit submit. The programer, Malcholm Archer-Shee is planning on doing a webinar on how to use this tool for sometime in February. I will be sure to post the info once it's available.

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The programer, Malcholm Archer-Shee is planning on doing a webinar on how to use this tool for sometime in February. I will be sure to post the info once it's available.

 

I welcome Malcolm's guidance and look forward to it. I just submitted CQ1271 using the latest version of DSWorld. I used the recovery report there to update the scaled coordinates. (I usually have submitted these in a separate section of DSWorld).

 

I hope I understood a section of the recovery report correctly, after the stability. It has Fl/Proj/Rec along with the next boxes to place the measurements. I am assuming (I didn't find the answer in the help file yet) that these abbreviations mean Flush, Projecting,Recessed....for the mark in relation to the ground level.

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Welcome vonjoekasey,

 

You are in the correct forum. However, it would probably work out best if you started a new thread specifically for your question.

 

In the interim, here is some information to get you started:

 

If you have a phone with Android here is a thread for you:

 

And here is a thread related to the one above:

 

If you have an iPhone, here are two threads:

 

 

 

Good luck!

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If you select hand-held positions you will be prompted for the station PID and the program will retrieve the existing info so you will see if it already has an HH2 position. If it only has a scaled value then all you need to do is enter the new coordinates and hit submit.

 

I was planning on submitting a .gpx file rather than individually uploading 1738 sets of co-ordinates. B)

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This post is to check to see if there is a difference between a 'regular' post, and one that is a 'reply' to someone else's post.

 

I am seeing a change in the way things are displayed.

 

Not what I was expecting...things HAVE changed!!

Edited by AZcachemeister
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This post is to check to see if there is a difference between a 'regular' post, and one that is a 'reply' to someone else's post.

 

I am seeing a change in the way things are displayed.

 

Not what I was expecting...things HAVE changed!!

 

I wonder if the weird formatting has something to do with vonjoekasey's signature? A quick check of her posts in the last year (3) shows another instance where all posts after hers are indented.

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This post is to check to see if there is a difference between a 'regular' post, and one that is a 'reply' to someone else's post.

 

I am seeing a change in the way things are displayed.

 

Not what I was expecting...things HAVE changed!!

 

I wonder if the weird formatting has something to do with vonjoekasey's signature? A quick check of her posts in the last year (3) shows another instance where all posts after hers are indented.

It appears as it is their sig line causing it to happen. I posted this as a bug and our answer so far.

 

I think everyone should watch for an answer and then follow the advice given. Or if no answer is forthcoming, we will have to let them know.

 

Shirley~

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This post is to check to see if there is a difference between a 'regular' post, and one that is a 'reply' to someone else's post.

 

I am seeing a change in the way things are displayed.

 

Not what I was expecting...things HAVE changed!!

 

I wonder if the weird formatting has something to do with vonjoekasey's signature? A quick check of her posts in the last year (3) shows another instance where all posts after hers are indented.

It appears as it is their sig line causing it to happen. I posted this as a bug and our answer so far.

 

I think everyone should watch for an answer and then follow the advice given. Or if no answer is forthcoming, we will have to let them know.

 

Shirley~

 

We have Moun10Bike to thank for fixing the problem. If you were following this strange happening about the "broken thread" and want to thank Moun10BIke for the quick response, just go to the link above and say "thanks". I already did.

 

Shirley~

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If you select hand-held positions you will be prompted for the station PID and the program will retrieve the existing info so you will see if it already has an HH2 position. If it only has a scaled value then all you need to do is enter the new coordinates and hit submit.

 

I was planning on submitting a .gpx file rather than individually uploading 1738 sets of co-ordinates. B)

 

And now, back to our regularly scheduled discussion...

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I was planning on submitting a .gpx file rather than individually uploading 1738 sets of co-ordinates. B)

I recently did that. I have a GSAK macro to make the gpx file. I wasn't sure about the coordinate format though - it seems that the gpx coordinate format is decimal degrees which doesn't lend itself to distinguishing the accuracy of the data as HH2

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I guess I can just send it and check back to see if anything takes root.

I'm really not looking forward to entering 1738 sets of co-ordinates if the .gpx is unacceptable. :(

I did notice that (I suppose) DaveD updated a mark to HH-2 based on a picture I uploaded (to Geocaching.com) with my GPSr next to the mark. :)

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I did notice that (I suppose) DaveD updated a mark to HH-2 based on a picture I uploaded (to Geocaching.com) with my GPSr next to the mark. :)

 

I always like viewing the recent HH loads option of DSWorld, to see what has been updated around my area. It appears the same thing may have happened with CQ2122 down in LA. Ninja Dave strikes again. :ph34r:

Edited by LSUFan
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