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SoonerL8R

Report Latitude/Longitude of a located benchmark?

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Being new to benchmarking, I was wondering when reporting finds if we should ever note the coordinates of where we actually locate the mark if it's different than description? If the coordinates are scale and not adjusted do we need to report or is it more important to have measurement descriptions?

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Hi MRF,

 

Regarding your questions on submitting log reports on Geocaching.com:

 

As you correctly guessed, the only time you need to report your coordinates are for Scaled marks. You would not report your GPS coordinates for Adjusted marks.

 

I believe it is important to include your GPS coordinates for all Scaled marks as long as you can get a good GPS reading (i.e. when the signal is not significantly reduced by heavy tree cover, tall buildings or other obstructions).

 

Others will say you should only report your GPS coordinates if they differ greatly from the Scaled coordinates in the datasheet. However, I have never understood that. I think if your GPS reading is close to the coordinates in the datasheet it is still a good idea to report that because that can confirm that the Scaled coordinates are indeed correct. Scaled coordinates on datasheets were often derived from someone scaling off of a topographical map. Sometimes they were very close; sometimes they could be quite a ways off (up to 600 feet). In my opinion, having handheld GPS readings to correct, or confirm, the Scaled coordinates is a good idea.

 

To answer your other question, reporting measurements to nearby objects is much more important than reporting your GPS coordinates. A report with just measurements is much more useful than a report with just coordinates from your handheld GPS.

 

The above are only my opinions so don't take them as gospel. Others here have more experience than me and may have different ideas.

 

Never hesitate to ask questions. Someone here will always be glad to help.

 

Good luck and have fun with your hunting!

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I haven't actually logged any of these benchmarks as of yet but I guess more than anything I want to figure out what I'm doing beforehand and ask some of the questions I'm not sure of. I don't know that I'm gonna report them to the NGS right away unless I find a mark that has been found missing. I guess it just kind of intimidates me that I may mess up how to report it properly but I intend on making notes incase I ever decide to go back and file a report after I'm more comfortable.

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I haven't actually logged any of these benchmarks as of yet but I guess more than anything I want to figure out what I'm doing beforehand and ask some of the questions I'm not sure of. I don't know that I'm gonna report them to the NGS right away unless I find a mark that has been found missing. I guess it just kind of intimidates me that I may mess up how to report it properly but I intend on making notes incase I ever decide to go back and file a report after I'm more comfortable.

 

Nothing wrong with not reporting them to the NGS. There are some of us that have never done that but, like to log on GC. Surveyors do actually come to our site to look at our logs now and then anyway.

 

So just log on GC and have fun.

 

Welcome to the addiction of Benchmark Hunting!

 

Shirley~

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I hope that more bench mark hunters will add the coordinates where they found marks that currently have scaled positions. I have read many posts where the mark was found and they comment that the position was "way off" and then never provide the coordinates where they found the mark. Even if the bench mark hunter does not directly submit their values to NGS, I often review the posts and will harvest these data to update the NGS database. Over the past two years I have collected in excess of 25,000 positions from this site to update the database. Even though resource grade GPS is not at the few cm level, the values posted here can provide a significant improvement and be very helpful to aiding NGS improve the quality of data in the National Spatial Reference System. On some occasions I have found where a mark has been found on multiple occasions and coordinates provided by the finder. When there are two or more sets of values that agree with each to a couple of meters this is even more valuable data to update the NGS database.

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I myself think I'm gonna start logging a waypoint into my gps while taking pictures and upon finding benchmarks. It would be pretty easy to just go back and look up the coordinates when logging the benchmark and just add it at that point if it's very far off.

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Before posting coordinates in a NGS recovery report, it might be a good idea to double check the NGS copy of the datasheet. One I was going to submit coordinates for had already been updated from Scaled to Hand Held with slightly more precise coordinates then what I was going to submit. There's another I wanted to do recently and submit with coordinates since it was listed as Not Found by the NGS but Geocachers have found it more recently, but I'm not sure I could get to it without trespassing. It's kind of hard to tell in that particular case since there was conflicting information onsite.

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I have noticed that, after submitting my HH2 coordinates for a scaled mark, sometimes the NGS updates the database to reflect it, and the status gets changed, but my HH2 coordinates are still in the log, and then that makes me look like I don't know what I'm doing.

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Before posting coordinates in a NGS recovery report, it might be a good idea to double check the NGS copy of the datasheet. One I was going to submit coordinates for had already been updated from Scaled to Hand Held with slightly more precise coordinates then what I was going to submit. There's another I wanted to do recently and submit with coordinates since it was listed as Not Found by the NGS but Geocachers have found it more recently, but I'm not sure I could get to it without trespassing. It's kind of hard to tell in that particular case since there was conflicting information onsite.

 

Sometimes, other geocachers report finding a mark, but don't mention the coordinates, however they posted a picture of their GPS next to the mark, and sometimes I can read the coordinates off the picture.

 

In the case of a close property line, because I am into GIS, I have made myself a custom map with a parcel layer and the mark plotted, to see how it they compare, but that obviously won't work if the exact coordinates of the mark are not known.

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Sometimes, other geocachers report finding a mark, but don't mention the coordinates, however they posted a picture of their GPS next to the mark, and sometimes I can read the coordinates off the picture.

 

In the case of a close property line, because I am into GIS, I have made myself a custom map with a parcel layer and the mark plotted, to see how it they compare, but that obviously won't work if the exact coordinates of the mark are not known.

 

The Nuvi I've used for benchmark hunting (and Geocaching) doesn't show the coordinates unless you go into what is almost a hidden page, which also shows satellite signal strength and stuff. When using my smartphone, if I don't have my camera then I'd be taking pics with the phone so obviously putting it in the shot won't work. If I was going to try and report coordinates for a benchmark using my phone I would use a program that does coordinate averaging, so as to get the best coordinates it can get. (I actually did that once, but I lost all the pics of that mark before I got around to asking about making a report and what to report. It wouldn't have been a standard found/not found report, and maybe some day I'll go back there and do it again.)

 

The benchmark I was talking about that I didn't get near is this one:

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=HV3104

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=HV3104

 

As the datasheet says, it was placed to mark the Southern boundary of the park. But when I got to the road I would have had to go on to get to it, there was a No Trespassing sign on the North side, and a Park Boundry sign on the South side. So I don't know what's going on there. Thought I'd try to access it from inside the park on foot, but the area immediately south of Lee's Hill is posted No Trespassing. As the sign at the road doesn't show up in Street View, I kinda wonder if it was a reaction to visits Geocachers/Benchmarkers trying to get to a nearby Virtual Cache or hunting for the benchmark.

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Before posting coordinates in a NGS recovery report, it might be a good idea to double check the NGS copy of the datasheet. ....

Important to remember that the NGS datasheet that appears when you click on the "View Original Datasheet" link on a Geocaching page is actually an approximately 10-year-old version of the datasheet. To see the current datasheet, it's best to get it directly from NGS. Probably the easiest way is via a URL that looks like this —
http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=hv1131

— (obviously with the last six characters replaced by the PID you are interested in.

 

-ArtMan-

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I have noticed that, after submitting my HH2 coordinates for a scaled mark, sometimes the NGS updates the database to reflect it, and the status gets changed, but my HH2 coordinates are still in the log, and then that makes me look like I don't know what I'm doing.

 

Actually, if I saw that I would assume you were the one who submitted the now accepted co-ordinates, and be grateful! :)

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I have noticed that, after submitting my HH2 coordinates for a scaled mark, sometimes the NGS updates the database to reflect it, and the status gets changed, but my HH2 coordinates are still in the log, and then that makes me look like I don't know what I'm doing.

 

Actually, if I saw that I would assume you were the one who submitted the now accepted co-ordinates, and be grateful! :)

 

Same here. I would find it odd otherwise.

Edited by EdrickV

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Before posting coordinates in a NGS recovery report, it might be a good idea to double check the NGS copy of the datasheet. ....

Important to remember that the NGS datasheet that appears when you click on the "View Original Datasheet" link on a Geocaching page is actually an approximately 10-year-old version of the datasheet. To see the current datasheet, it's best to get it directly from NGS. Probably the easiest way is via a URL that looks like this —
http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=hv1131

— (obviously with the last six characters replaced by the PID you are interested in.

 

-ArtMan-

 

Or you can go to this web site and put the PID in the input box.

 

Scanning my avatar works too.

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To see the current datasheet, it's best to get it directly from NGS. Probably the easiest way is via a URL that looks like this —

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=hv1131

Even easier, if you expect to be looking up NGS datasheets occasionally, is to drop Zhanna's bookmarklet into your bookmarks toolbar:

 

http://surveymarks.planetzhanna.com/

 

Patty

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